The highlight of this past week for me was seeing grammy-winning, super- talented performer Amy Grant in concert - yes, that Amy Grant, the one who unknowingly changed my life back in 1996 when she became the WILLING subject of my very first professional column for a national golf magazine. I say WILLING subject because she was more than willing - she was outgoing, funny, and very open about her passion for the game of golf.
My first foray into professional photojournalism, thanks to Amy, came back to me in vivid detail after having the great joy of seeing her in concert Thursday night with her fantastic back-up band and singers at the Wentz Concert Hall in Naperville. Seeing Amy perform re-kindled my joy in listening to her sing and seeing her live is a bonus! And, after seeing Amy it also reminded me so clearly of how much fun I had meeting up with her in Nashville and doing the interview for the magazine lo those many years ago. One of Amy's wonderful songs is called "Oh How The Years Go By" and looking back on how long its been since my first pro sports column was published it made me realize that, yes, the years surely have gone by - and much too quickly!
The concert was wonderful - Amy looks exactly the same as she did 17 years ago with maybe a little bit shorter hair and she sounded as good as ever performing hit after hit that resounded with the sold-out audience, some of whom were there to hear her Christian hits and some to hear her cross-over pop hits like "Baby, Baby" and "That's What Love is For", and "Every Heartbeat" to name just a few of the songs she performed in nearly two hours of great entertainment. An interesting side note, one of Amy's back-up singers is her step-daughter Jenny Gill, daughter of Amy's hubby and musician/singer extraordinaire Vince Gill. Jenny has some chops of her own and even before she was introduced to us at the concert, I was impressed with her voice and now I know why as she comes from some very strong musical genes!
With a new CD out (How Mercy Looks From Here) and a country-wide tour going on in 2013, Grant is on the proverbial roll. The concert here was sold out for weeks ahead of time and I even got notices from people looking for tickets to the show but I'm pretty sure they were out of luck. You have to admire an artist with such longevity in such a tough industry like the music biz. It shows that Amy Grant is a true talent whose music touches people of all ages and from all different walks of life. On a personal level, Amy Grant is an "angel watching over me" since that fateful day in May of 1996 when our paths crossed in Nashville. Yes, Oh how the years go by, and thanks to Amy, the years have gone by very well!
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