For 8 years now, some musical friends and I have put on a Black Friday concert of songs that express gratitude for many of our blessings: friends, family, freedom, nature, art, music, laughter, our bodies, and our emotions.
We’ve used the free event to declare: instead of joining the day-after-Thanksgiving buying frenzy, let’s be grateful — not for glitzy, high-tech things — but for the simple, intangible aspects of our lives that give us true joy.
Heck, it’s almost as if the folks at Simply Living dreamed up this event. After all, when Simply Living was created, one of the driving founding ideas and ideals was — if we stopped buying so much shiny plastic junk to keep up with the Joneses, we could all be less stressed and more happy, plus the environment would be cleaner.
That’s why I feel no shame in shamelessly using this Simply Living blog forum to promote our upcoming “songs of gratitude” concert on Friday, November 26 at 7 pm Eastern time.
Playing piano and guitar, I’ll sing songs written by, made famous by, or inspired by, a wide variety of folks — John Denver, Martin Luther King, the Weavers, Phil Ochs, Louis Armstrong, and Don McLean. Even Johnny Appleseed, Jiminy Cricket, and the “old ladies” on the TV show, “Golden Girls.”
On several songs, Ann Fisher will add beautiful flute accompaniment, David Maywhoor will add percussion, and Joe Lambert and Joanne Blum will add soothing vocal harmonies.
This year, for the second time, the program will be entirely online. Whether or not you’re a member of Facebook, you can see and hear the show by going to the Facebook page called “Bill Cohen Sings.” You can either search for that page online yourself, or you can click on this link, and hopefully that will connect you AT THE TIME OF THE CONCERT.
If you have a Facebook account already, just click this link.
**IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A FACEBOOK ACCOUNT, YOU CAN STILL WATCH but you need to click 1 more thing! Once you click on this link (above) you will be asked to either log in or join. IGNORE THAT REQUEST! Instead, click anything else like Home, Events, Videos etc on the left hand column and the notice to login or join will go away! Then, you can watch us live AT THE TIME OF THE CONCERT!
Besides the music in the gratitude concert, we’ll hear some thoughtful quotes, reminding us of our many blessings. No sermons here but words of inspiration and emotion from sources as varied as Albert Schweitzer, Rod Serling, Gandhi, Einstein, and Buddha.
This is a free concert, but if you appreciate the songs and the message, we’ll be welcoming donations for a non-profit charity, International Medical Alliance of Tennessee. That’s the group that my wife Randi goes with to the Dominican Republic every February. The all-volunteer group of doctors, nurses, and medical students provides free medical care to impoverished, disenfranchised Haitian workers who live and work just inside the D.R. border. Randi serves as the group’s interpreter, bridging the language gap between the Spanish-speaking patients and the English-speaking medical workers. During the show, we’ll tell you how to donate electronically.