Life Lessons from the HI-DE-HO's

That my column in Woman's Day is called Life Lessons is a great irony of my life, since most of the time I am in need of receiving a few instructions on how to live well, rather than confident that I can dole them out. Which is not to say I don't admire people who can give solid advice without doubts. Songwriters are better at this than most people, since they have such little time to get their message across that they can't beat around the bush. Still, many performers choose to just play a song and hope the audience gets it. But on Saturday night at the Northern Light Showcase The HI-DE-HO's, a bluegrassy-swing kind of group, usually featuring Heidi singing, was without her, so it was all guys—Tom Heywood, the band’s spokesman, lead guitar player, and bookstore owning Arts Council president, said this presented them with an opportunity to play a “life lessons self-help” set for guys in three songs-- Leon Redbone's So Relax, the Delmore Brothers Peach Tree Street Boogie, and Keb Mo's Better Man. Tom said he was inspired by Madonna's performance at the Super Bowl, and realized the HI-DE-HO's had much in common with her-- "Same age, maybe, same message, just a different style." Here are Tom and the HI-DE-HO's three life lessons to get your week off to a good start. 1. From Leon Redbone-- When life’s troubles get you down, “ Laugh and put your heels up…a favorite book will be perfect company.” 2. From the Delmore Brothers— Boogie often-- “You don’t have to know how to sing or dance, you just have to take a chance.”  And finally from Keb Mo-- “I’m gonna make my world a better place, I’m gonna keep that smile on my face, yeah, I’m gonna teach myself to be a better man.”  Or woman, right? I’ve been singing that song all morning, which may be the real lesson from the Arts Council's evening entertainment--  the best  music is the kind we make ourselves.

Note: An earlier version of this blog misnamed the HI-DE-HO's. 

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