I picked up an electric bass guitar two years ago. It was the first time I’d ever plugged or plucked the instrument. I was quite familiar with its sound and look but had never touched one. My father played the bass guitar professionally. Nothing in me wanted to sit under the scrutiny of his eye and ear. I avoided the bass guitar at all costs, but two years ago – at Kyle Matthew’s request (It’s all his fault!) – I picked up a bass guitar. Kyle felt we needed a bass guitar on a particular song being sung during a MidWeek Fellowship. He assumed I could learn it quickly. I picked it up.
My first public performance was in the church parlor on a Wednesday evening with Bootie Cothran on guitar and Rolyn Rollins singing “In the Palm of Your Hand” by Alison Kraus. I went on to play at the ‘First on Main’ Christmas show, the annual church retreat, several events with my own band buddies – Cappuccino Funk – and later in master classes with artists like Shannon Hoover, Victor Wooten, Adam Nitti and Riley Hagan. Of course, if I do anything, I typically jump in the deep end… so this past March I took a few vacation days and attended a ‘bass camp’ in Philadelphia, PA. At the camp, I was privileged to sit under the guidance of some bass greats like: Scott Ambush and Oscar Cartaya of Spyro Gyra, jazz legends Marcus Miller and Gerald Veasley, two-time Grammy winner Derrick Hodge, and our friend – Nashville’s Adam Nitti. Tucked in the schedule with all these guys was a five-foot, brunette, female blues bassist named Ryan Madora.
Ryan Madora and her husband, Craig Haller, will be with us in worship on Sunday, June 23. Ryan has backed artists like: Darius Rucker, Lady Antebellum, Garth Brooks, Luke Bryan and Carrie Underwood. She plays with her own band – The Interludes – and she serves the larger bass community as a writer and instructor. In the words of bassist Anthony Wellington, “It’s a beautiful world when a little white girl has that much funk.” Join us in worship on Sunday, June 23, as Ryan and Craig participate in the service. Then, make your way to Fernwood Baptist Church in Spartanburg at 6:00pm the same day for a full ‘coffee house concert’ in their fellowship hall. It’s going to be a wonderful day of worship and music. (I wonder if I can talk her into a free bass lesson while she’s here…) I’ll see you there!