I recently spent an evening with some of Florida's state leadership. Behind closed doors we never know what our lawmakers are doing, thinking or planning... but this intimate gathering offered me great insight into the motives and merits of Florida's elite...
Out of respect for privacy I wont be revealing the names of the individuals present or their political affiliation... (Continues below photo)
I arrived at a beautiful residence hours prior to my show start time... well manicured gardens, a beautifully built patio pouring into a backyard with a pool and parrots welcoming me with open wings! This was the space... where i'd be entertaining a short list of special guests.
I was thrilled to meet the owner of the home along with their family... Their hospitable nature and warm welcome was quite nice after my 22 hour drive. I was showed around the property and we got to talking for while... nothing beats performing for good people... if this introduction was any indication, it was going to be a good night.
With the anticipated arrival of our special guests approaching I finished my sound checks and tidied up around my performance area... shortly after guests started to arrive.
I was introduced as they came in which quickly sparked up some interesting conversations. There weren't too many people, maybe 20 max so we were able to converse easily.
The caterers began offering drinks and hor d'oeuvres and soon after dinner was served... which I was invited to join... some damn good barbecue... brisket, pork, mac... you name it. You could say i'm quite literally rubbing elbows with law makers now... individuals that are shaping our way of life causally talking about their plans for their next legislative session...
As I dug into the meal I started asking questions and quickly discovered a common thread... these guys love their country. There were no cameras, no recordings, no media of any kind. The cameras were off, the doors closed, in complete privacy and these individuals showed a clear love for country. They believe firmly that the policies they are fighting for is what's best for their children, their neighbors, the state of Florida but most importantly America. The topics that were spoken of were relevant to current events and it was evident that their mission is not fueled by some secret agenda... but to protect, serve and defend our cherished way of life.
Now I like to think I'm not easily fooled and have a good judge of character. In this short time of meeting these individuals, there is no possible way to understand ones motives... but I will say... amongst political allies, in a safe and secure setting away from the public eye... these individuals had no reason to put on an "act"... it was very revealing to say the least.
As the night progressed I hopped on a stool, grabbed my guitar and started playing some tunes. This group was a great audience with all of them listening and enjoying the remainder of the night... I couldn't help but perform a song I wrote called Nation That I Know... I shared a story behind the music about my love for this country, where it came from and how this song was written through the words of countless veterans i've had the honor of meeting in my life. EVERY single person got out of their chairs and stood up during the performance of this song... Nation That I Know... (take a listen to a clip of the unreleased studio version below) (Continues below photo)
The respect was raw... as real as it gets. I felt deeply humbled and grateful in that moment to perform for these people. If this evening taught me anything it's that politicians are people... with families, values and a life just like the rest of us. Some get corrupted, some get greedy... but some remember why they started and they never forget who they serve. #flordia #floridasenate
These kinds of events have been constant for me over the past two years as we have stepped away form public shows. If you have a gathering, backyard party, wedding, corporate event... let us know. It would be my pleasure to bring some music and memories to your next event... anywhere on the map.
- Ben OC