These days we Indie Musicians are wearing so many hats that we sometimes get way to wrapped up in the business side of being a musician. This can cause that old music flame to dim and fade off into the background.

That is why every once in awhile we need inspirational songs to help remind us of why we started playing music in the first place.

I like to listen or play these types songs before shows – or any time I need a jolt of inspiration – to kind of center me and inject my soul with that genuine music love that I can bask in and pass onto to the audience.

A lot of times I will stoke the flame with the stuff from back in the day (that got me fired up in the first place).  But recently I have stumbled onto a few tunes and written one that serve as great reminders of what playing and writing music is all about.

Check them out and see if you agree.

Inspirational Song #1

Even if It Breaks Your Heart – Eli Young Band/Will Hoge

This is the song that inspired this post. I totally saw myself in this in this tune.

Downtown is where I used to wander.
Old enough to get there but too young to get inside.
So I would stand out on the sidewalk,
Listen to the music playin’ every Friday night.

I was the kid outside the club (now closed Rascal’s) trying to look through a tinted window trying to watch the bands. Like a time machine it takes me right back to that moment. I can remember that feeling of awe and wanting to be up that stage.

Then the last line of the chorus says it all:

Keep on dreaming even if it breaks your heart

That is what it is all about right?

That is where many of us go wrong. We give up. We get so wrapped up in the business end of the playing music that we forget. We forget that its the act of playing, writing or connecting with others that is where the rubber meets the road.

We feel that we are not successful unless we have a huge fanbase or enough money to support our habit. But I would argue, just being able to write, play and connect, even at the smallest level, is a million times better than not doing it at all.

Listen on YouTube

Inspirational Song #2

Follow That River – Nick Shattuck

Follow that river baby

Follow that river mama

The music will save me

The music will save my soul

Fuckin aye right its gonna save our souls. There so much bullshit going on around us these days. We get hit from every angle, Social media, TV, smartphones, etc. Music gives lucky bastards like us that chance to let all that stuff fall away while we immerse ourselves in a performance or practice session or the creation process.

Hail to the king and the queens of the dreams

Living in poetry and melody

To stanza’s and six strings

Like I said, lucky bastards. Even if we never get anywhere, there are a lot of people who would give their left nut/tit to be able to even play music or even have the balls to put it out there.

[Raising my glass] here’s to my fellow Musicians.

Inspirational Song #3

Why Wait – Corey Koehler (aka Me)

Here’s one of my own. This is one of the songs that came fast and nearly wrote itself. I was reading an interview with Steve Earle in American Songwriter where he said:

“People have taught my songs in college courses. One of my songs [“Pilgrim”] has become sort of a standard that’s played at funerals all the time …“The Galway Girl” is sung at virtually every wedding in Ireland now. And it’s also Galway City football team’s song … It’s the stuff that you do that [makes you think] maybe you’re going to leave something behind when you’re gone.”

Did he set out to have his tune become a teams song or a funeral song, no, he just created and through it out there. That quote sparked the whole tune, this lyric in particular:

An image eats you up inside
Under that tombstone without the chance to plant your seed
you gotta leave em with something to keep’em comin back
to keep’em smilin when your buried, dead and gone

Leaving something behind when you are gone. That is what kept me up at night before I started writing. I was working in a good job but, honestly, there is nothing notable about it. Nothing about it that captured my essence and passed it along or lived on in some way.

There is a part of all of us who wants to feel that we made a contribution. Why Wait, get on it.

If I think of any more I will be sure to pass them on.

Your Turn

I’d love to know what you are thinking. If you have any tunes that fire up every creative bone in your body, be sure to let us know in the comments below.

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