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“The Performance of a Lifetime”

It is no secret that I love Darrell Scott. It’s hard for me to play a show and not have his name come up in my banter. I am a huge fan of his work and his songwriting workshops have helped me find, what he calls,  my “writer’s voice.”

It is also no secret that I love The Listening Room and credit it and its audience for helping shape me into the artist that I am today. It’s also something that I mention at almost every gig. The Listening Room is kinda where I grew up.

So you put Darrell Scott on The Listening Room stage and let me be the opener? Yeah, I’d call that the gig of a lifetime.

Sometimes it’s hard being a songwriter in a small town in Nebraska. Sometimes it’s hard being an artist of any kind. I spent nine years working really hard, crying lots of tears, chasing after songs I didn’t know how to write, fighting off my own negative self-talk to get to one 20 minute opening set.

Most of the time the headliner catches one or two songs of the opening set and then kindly thanks the opener along with everybody else right before going into the last few songs of the show. The fact that my hero (and friend) listened to my whole opening set AND was super complementary to me on stage?! Pretty amazing. Pretty unforgettable. That qualifies as a performance of a lifetime.

I like to think there’s more music to come, more gigs to play, more songs to write. It’s hard to say where it is I’m going, but I think pressing on simply out of gratitude for the listeners who’ve liked the music and for the artists who’ve mentored me along the way is plenty reason to keep up the writing and pick up the guitar. Thanks, everybody. — Hope Dunbar




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