Ten Years Later | Baby Hold On

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Tomorrow marks the 10th anniversary of my father's death, and while the grief will always be there, this year it's more of a dull ache than it has been in the past. Instead of the usual overwhelming urge to mourn him, I felt compelled to do something to honor him. 

I have a hobby I keep relatively to myself, and that's my little jam-band we call Left. Just a little 4- 5 piece acoustic band of amateur musicians who like to put jazzy little acoustic spins to ridiculous pop songs. Britney Spears' 'Toxic' is a fan favorite. We play little beer gardens, pubs, and cafes in the summer, and it's totally just for fun. No day jobs will ever be sacrificed in this endeavor. We are not good enough, and we are totally okay with that. 

So we play Thursday nights on The Square when we're all in town, and tonight, I decided to sing a song my father wrote for me after a traumatic experience I had as a kid called, 'Baby Hold On.' My Dad always wanted to collaborate with me on a project, but we simply never got around to it. 

This song sounds simple, but it's actually very complicated, and we were very limited with our skillset in coming up with our arrangement, and it showed. I was also emotional, nervous, and kind of flat, but I got through it, and I'm glad I did. I have a much bigger voice than my dad, so it was hard to reign it in on such a gentle song. The whole experience brought my respect for him as an artist up several levels. He makes it sound so easy, and here I wrestled with it for a few months and it still doesn't even come close. 

I think this is something I'll do every year. It was an experience that brought me closer to him in a way I wasn't before and kind of changed the tone of this day. 

Below you can listen to his song first, and then our attempt at a version. 

(I used 1:00 clips from the same part of the song because the song is almost 6min long - You can hear the full original version on Spotify/iTunes by searching "Stevee G. Old Friends")

What would my Dad say about tonight's performance? "Yumpin Yensa Yiminy, that biiiiiig voice!" as he always said whenever I'd sing. And although I have a big musical theater voice, I think he would have been flattered by my attempt at a blues/rock song... even if I had to make it Kindergarten level and slow it down all the way. It gave me six minutes of joy (my dad would be giggling because that sounds filthy) before a sad day to remember him, and for that, I have no complaints. 

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Jennifer Gulbrandsen