Most of All – BJ Thomas & Keb Mo

Most of All by BJ Thomas & Keb Mo
This song is one of the tracks from the Living Room Sessions CD that BJ made where he re-recorded some of his famous hits in duet form with artists from different music genres. 

Included on the album is Richard Marx, Keb Mo, Vince Gill, Isaac Slade and others.  I didn’t hear about this album until it had been out for almost three years.

Every once in a while, a song comes along that resonates with you for some reason.  This song sounds really good but the reason I like it so much is because it speaks of a wanderer’s journey.  The writer has a deep yearning to move on to the next town and he hopes the people he loves will understand.  This song deals with traveling by train, but the wanderlust is the same in many ways as those who travel by RV.  I couldn’t resit adding it to my blog.

The song is performed by BJ Thomas & Keb Mo, a childhood favorite and a modern blues legend I really admire.  I discovered the music of BJ Thomas at a young age.  I love to hear him sing.  I became aware of his music in the late 1960s or early 1970s.  I know that dates me a bit but that’s okay.  I have learned to embrace life’s journey.  Keb Mo came to my attention much later.  I discovered his wonderful blues on a tv show that I don’t recall the name of.  A bit of research (the internet is a wonderful tool) suggests it may have been the June 10, 1997 performance on the television program “Sessions at West 54th” which was recorded live in New York.  I just learned that performance is available on DVD, so I intend to get it soon.  I knew the first time I heard him play and sing that I would be a a big fan going forward.  He is a complete musician.  Click on the video below.  I hope you like it as much as I do.

Years ago, I had a good friend from church who was a musician and singer.  He was a heck of a tennis player too.  Whenever I hear Keb Mo sing, and even more so when I see him sing, it reminds me so much of my friend Fred.  Their mannerisms are so similar.  Fred was good but certainly wasn’t as polished a musician as Keb by any stretch, but the mannerisms and their shared joy derived from singing is uncanny.  I recall playing tennis with Fred.  I was just okay as a player, but he was great.  I guess I was in my late twenties when we played.  He was a good bit older than me.  I think he was in his early forties at the time.

I always felt that I had half a chance if I could make him run, and lord knows that was the only chance I had.  He was deadly with his shot accuracy.  He definitely made me and several other guys from the church raise our game as he taught us.  I recall a few times I got to feeling a bit too good about my game and I would load up on a shot and drill it by him.  He always had that knowing grin that seemed to say “You don’t really want any of this!”  LOL, if I ever did get one by him on a rope, I usually wouldn’t see the ball again for several games other than an occasional blur.

After his point was made, we got back to volleying again so I could get better.  How many people do you know that make you better?  Fred did that for me and I am not just talking about tennis.  The drive to and from the games were more important.  He taught me that if I wanted to get better at tennis, I wouldn’t achieve it by always playing someone I could beat.  I needed to play someone who could force me to stretch my abilities.  The same is true in the realm of success.  If you want to succeed, you can’t spend all of your time around people who are less successful.  Fred gave me a great gift.  He is one of the very few people in this world that I felt I could really say anything to and he wouldn’t judge me.  I didn’t grasp at that time how fleeting that friendship was.  Fred died way too young and left behind a beautiful wife and two daughters.  A true friend is rare.  I miss him greatly.

I really believe the old poem (author unknown) is true.  People move in an out of our lives for a purpose.  Some are here for a reason, some for a season and some for a lifetime.  If you google “a reason, a season, a lifetime” I am sure you can find the whole thing.  It’s powerful.  I’m not sure why I felt the need to share that about Fred, but I felt it strongly enough to know I needed to…. for someone.  If you have ever lost a good friend, pause for a moment and remember the good things about them and honor their memory today.  Peace.

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