7/6/17: Eric Bibb “Five Miles Above”

I don’t want to bring anybody down today, but the particular song playing in my head this morning has lot of sentimental value to me.

I remember driving to Greensboro to attend a funeral for a young man who left us all too soon. I believe this was in about 2003, when Stephen Gates passed on. He was a bright young reporter for WCHL and the Tar Heel Sports Network. Driving home from Greensboro he was struck by a hit-and-run driver while outside of his car changing a flat tire.  He was only 27 when he died, and he was loved by most everyone who met him. He has warmth and energy, and was a particularly fine sports reporter with a great voice for play-by-play commentary. He was my, our, friend.

His memorial service was being held at his family’s church in Greensboro, and I drove there by myself. I had plenty of time to think on the way, and the CD that just happened to be in my car was “Painting Signs,” an excellent album by Eric Bibb. You might not know Eric’s music, but he is an incredibly talented Blues musician. A stellar singer/songwriter and one hell of a guitar player, to boot.

It was “Five Miles Above” that came on my stereo, and it fit my mood perfectly. I found it to be both depressing and soothing, the kind of inspiration that comes when you feel deep sadness and know that this too shall pass. I must have played it over and over, maybe eight or nine times, on the way to Greensboro. After the service, I drove back and listened to nothing else but this song all the way home. I just couldn’t stop. The song felt like what I needed, and it spurred a lot of deep thinking about how I wanted to do a better job of telling people how much I appreciated them while they were still around to hear it. I think that whole experience changed me a little bit, and “Five Miles Above” was a major part of that. It hurts when people are taken from us, especially too soon, but everyone’s gotta go at some time or another. It’s up to us to make sure that we spread all the love and light we can while we’re around to do it, and while those important to us are around to receive it.

Five or six years down the line, I saw Eric Bibb in concert at Hayti Heritage Center, as part of the Durham Blues Festival. He didn’t do this song, but he put on a great show. If you aren’t familiar with his music, now would be a great time to start. You won’t regret it, I promise.

To read and listen to all of Ron’s Music in My Head entries, click here!

The School of Rock Chapel Hill is a music school for kids of all ages located in the 501 Diner location on Fordham Blvd in front of Eastgate Crossing.

Locally owned, locally operated, locally staffed, locally sourced instruments, and locally built!

Now Open for business, you are invited to stop in for a tour or schedule a free demo session. Their hours are Monday-Thursday 3PM-9PM and Saturday 10AM-4PM!  

Learn how to play a real rock and roll song in just 30 minutes!

On July 7th, School of Rock Downingtown, School of Rock Cary, and your very own School of Rock Chapel Hill will have students performing at Cat’s Cradle from 6-9PM as a part of School of Rock Downingtown’s east coast tour! Show is free and open to the public. All at the Cat’s Cradle on July 7th.

AND, to kick off a partnership with the Public School Foundation; For every new enrollment through the end of June, they will donate $10 to the local public schools’ music and performing arts programs, and moving forward, they’ll donate 1% of their gross revenue, so help them support music in the local public schools and enroll today!

Click Here to See Photos of the Grand Opening Celebration!

Sign-up at chapelhill.schoolofrock.com, or call 919-338-1011.

Also, they have some great summer camps, and summer camp spots are filling up fast, so sign-up today!

Open for Rocking!



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