Sunday, December 3, 2023

Brews and Tunes: The Toughest Audience Can Be at Home

Find where you can find great brews and bites while listening to your favorite local musicians with the latest edition of Brews & Tunes (Courtesy of Usplash/John Matychuk)

HISTORIC TRIANGLE — There is a point to what you are about to read, so bear with me.

I have a 4-year-old daughter and she knows what she wants and is not shy about asking for… nay, demanding it.

On one hand, I love that about her. I hope with all of my heart that she grows up to be a strong, confident and assertive adult. However, in the meantime, I have to live with this taskmaster.

One of her favorite things to demand is the kind of music that is being played in any and all settings. When we are in the car she will shout from the backseat that I need to play Bert and Ernie’s version of “Wheel’s On the Bus” and I need to do it immediately, Virginia traffic regulations be darned.

Nine times out of ten, I will acquiesce to her demands after I coax a “please” out of her. Whoever says they don’t negotiate with terrorists has never raised children.

Another occasion in which she “asks” for particular songs is when I am playing guitar in my living room.

“Daddy,” she says calmly as she mutes the strings by grabbing the fretboard. “I don’t like that song. You need to play the ABC song.”

Then she goes back to coloring pictures, building block towers, having a snack, reading a biography on Machiavelli. You know, normal kid stuff.

I don’t mind the fact that she wants to hear a certain song, but the fact that she doesn’t even leave me a tip after demanding that I play one of her songs is maddening. I know for fact that she has money. I’ve asked her to Venmo me, but my wife says that she has to save that money for college.

So there it is. Not only does she dictate my set lists, but she gets to do it for free.

It’s on those occasions that I think about friends of mine who go out and play concerts around town. All the times I have watched them graciously take unsolicited song requests from a member of the audience. Then, because they are the talented show person that they are, they play an amazing version of a song that often times they don’t even like. All because they like making people happy with their art.

So next time you are out and taking in an enjoying live music performance, make sure to throw a few bucks in the tip jar in front of the musician, especially if you ask them to play “Wagon Wheel.”

Ready to head out for the weekend? Check out who is playing where around the Historic Triangle!

Want to be included in WYDaily’s weekly Brews and Tunes column? Send Ben Mackin an email at!

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