Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

January 17, 2013

It didn’t take long to figure out just how good he really was

Saturday night I took a walk across the bridge from Piedmont, W.Va., to Westernport to hear some music. I had heard rumors about the young vocalist who was to perform. To my surprise, there wasn’t a parking spot left available anywhere. Wow, I thought.

Within minutes I found myself standing on the dance floor directly next to the sound technician. Surrounded by a crowd of beautiful young women and handsome young men, I heard the click of the count; the lights burst on, faces lit up with happiness and the first notes of the evening blasted into the night.

The band was good — good and loud. The bass guitar and drum were amped up so high that I thought my heart was going to be blown clear out of my chest.

Then I could hear him, I could hear him singing. He was singing on key with a style and tone so perfectly suited to his music. After a few songs the sound man had it under control and the three piece band was tight and showed true professionalism.

That is when I really began to hear the voice. As the air traveled across the vocal cords I listed to the tones, the pitch and clarity, the ability to slide from highs to lows and to throw in a little gravel at just the right moment. It was all there.

After a dozen songs or so I headed back across the bridge. A million thoughts from both the past and the night rambled through my mind. What had I just witnessed? I thought to myself.

For a while I just walked quietly around the streets trying to let it all free. I began reminiscing about back in the day, as we call it, when I myself was a vocalist and how good it felt to be on stage at the Attic Lounge, Visions and the Clarysville Inn.

As I walked along a bit of sadness came to me as I realized that those things will probably never come again to this 62-year-old, white-haired grandpa.

Through it all the happiness, the sadness, a little jealousy, and some regrets, I felt a tear well up in my eye. A tear for me?

No, a tear of joy and happiness for this young man I had just experienced. I’m sure the feelings and good times that I enjoyed so many years ago are now a huge part of the life of this man that I know by name only, Mr. Travis Minnick.

On behalf of myself, and I’m sure everyone else, I would like to say to this man, Travis, I’ve been listening for 62 years and it only took me an hour to decide that you are quite possibly the most talented and true vocal artist to ever walk these panhandle hills. Take your dream and live it. Build your life around your talent.

Alvin L. Plum

Piedmont, W.Va.

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