JP Baldwin

Low on melodrama, high on melody.

Some people...

Silence On The Sidelines: An MLB Insider's 'Manifesto' On Youth Sports

Very interesting conversation with Mike Matheny, manager for the St. Louis Cardinals. The conversation revolves around parent behavior in youth sports, but the philosophy could just as easily be applied to music and art. So often, the focus in today’s world seems to be on success and stardom, which serves to undermine the whole point of picking up a baseball, or a guitar, in the first place … the joy of playing.

It’s a daily struggle. I confess, there are times when critical or commercial success (or lack there of) can be very frustrating. However, I can honestly say that my fondest memories with the guitar are of late nights playing through headphones, just trying not to disturb the neighbors and enjoying the sounds coming through the union of flesh, wood, and steel.

The first time I played a guitar I was amazed by the sounds my fingers could make. And honestly, I’m still kind of amazed each time something comes out that I find pleasant. It’s fascinating how much of a player’s personality can be conveyed just by how they touch the strings. I still spend hours watching old YouTube clips of my influences … Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Lindsey Buckingham, B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Danny Gatton, and on and on …

Sometimes, those simple things, the little things you enjoy the most can be the easiest to lose. And I’ve been there, trust me. It’s funny though, it’s wasn’t the struggle, or the late nights, or the empty clubs that bothered me most. It was that picking up a guitar became a labor, I’d lost that friend who’s relationship I’d worked so hard to develop. That friend, who even in roughest times, was always there and gave me so much enjoyment as a kid, just playing through headphones, late at night, enjoying the sounds.

It was work to find that again. But I’m so thankful I did. And I’m so thankful for the wonderful family and friends around me that continue to support the dream, and continue to remind me that the music is part of me, and always will be.

And now, everytime I play, I try to remember why I first started strumming my father’s mahogany Guild drednought guitar all those years ago …

I liked it, and I still do.