Sing like no one is listening

Tim singing
Tim rocking out at our company’s Summer Celebration

Special guest blog by Tim Aylesworth

Laurie asked me to be a guest blogger a few months ago to cover while she is away on vacation and I eagerly said yes because:

  1. I am a ‘Happy Act’ follower and have been since she started her blog.
  2. She is my boss. (Ok, I would have done it anyway even if she wasn’t my boss).

Then I completely forgot about it until in late June when I was vacationing in North Carolina visiting my brother-in-law and family and I received a message from Laurie asking if I was still interested in writing a post. I’m no dummy so I said ‘of course’!

I had no idea what to write about. As a musician, playing music makes me happy but that was just a little too obvious and not everyone is cut out to play an instrument.

While in North Carolina, we decided to try Karaoke and it hit me. Everyone can sing and singing makes you happy! I had my topic. Maybe you only sing loudly and badly, but you can sing. And the perfect opportunity to be loud and bad is Karaoke! You might not want to inflict your singing voice on the unsuspecting public but you can Karaoke in the comfort of your home. Just fire up YouTube and there are tons of Karaoke versions of songs just waiting to be massacred.

And talk about laughs! We each took turns picking the next song. The teenage girls picked Bruno Mars ‘Uptown Funk’ which is a really fun song – I really got into it. The same teenage girls were then horrified watching their parents sing Meat Loaf’s ‘Paradise by the Dashboard Light’ (all eight and a half minutes of it). We split the boys and girls up for ‘Summer Lovin’ from ‘Grease’ and we were surprisingly good.

My brother-in-law Dan picked ‘I’m Too Sexy’ by one-hit wonder Right Said Fred (he seemed to know all the words without looking). The teenage girls eyes were rolling again when Uncle Tim started ‘shaking his little tush on the catwalk’. There is video evidence of this that I hope never sees the light of day.

I’m usually a pretty good singer but I got really bad in hurry and I loved it. It was liberating just to belt it out with worrying about being in tune or even getting the words right.

So my #HappyAct advice to you is the next time you are at a party and or a family gathering and things are a little dull, go to YouTube and make your guests sing Karaoke for their supper. They might protest at first but soon everyone’s sides will be hurting from laughing so hard.

A word of warning. You might want to confiscate everyone’s phone first or you might become an unwilling YouTube star yourself.

Tim Aylesworth is a communicator and singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist who just released his fourth CD “Sending Out Waves”. Tim records his music in Rushin’ Draggin’ studio, his small but mighty home studio. 

Ed. note: We are all HUGE fans of Tim’s music at work. He is such a talented musician. Be sure to check out his songs and support him!

Listen to Tim’s music: CDBaby

Tim singing
Tim volunteers his time to sing at many charity functions, like this event for United Way

Listen to live music

band on stage
Celtic band Irish Roots playing at the Verona Cattail Festival

This weekend is a big deal in my small town. It’s the weekend of the annual Verona Cattail Festival. It kicks off with a parade that lasts about 10 minutes and has more people in it than watching it, features a Red Green Cardboard Duct Tape Boat Race where entrants make a boat out of cardboard and duct tape and everybody cheers as the boats sink, a pancake breakfast, fish fry and antique car show (on today if you’re looking for something to do and like antique cars).

For me, the highlight of our little festival is the music on the main stage. The organizers do a great job attracting talent from all genres. Last night the best act was a group called the Bon Evans Band—a guy who looked and sounded like Cat Stevens who played all originals, but the celtic group and Rockabilly Allstars were fun too.

The reality today is, most of us listen to music through some sort of device. It’s great that music is now universally accessible thanks to iTunes and iPods, but we’ve lost that experience of seeing the musicians on stage, hearing the music live and watching the performers interact with the audience. Many artists now have to charge exorbitant amounts for their concerts since it is their primary source of income.

At one point last night, I was watching the band. The sun was setting over the fields. Beside the stage were two Canadian flags gently billowing in the wind. Beside the stage Clare was dancing with friends and an older couple were dancing. It was a one of those blissful moments when you realize there is no place you’d rather be and no better place in the world to live than in Canada.

This week’s #HappyAct is to listen to some live music. The more intimate the venue, the better. Tap your toes, get up and dance, let the music take you away. A plug: if you’re out on a Saturday night in Kingston, my co-worker Tim Aylesworth and his buddy Craig Jones are always playing at Tir Nan Og Irish Pub on Ontario Street on the patio–he’s a great singer songwriter.