Finding Sacred in Music Amidst a Horrid News Week

I wasn’t sure…having bought tickets months ago, confident in my Pfizer vaccine, Seattle’s high vaccination rate and before “Delta”became a household word.  Reading about the beefed up air filtration system at Saint Mark's Episcopal Cathedral, Seattle, the show’s proof of vaccination and mask mandates gave more confidence. Fremont Abbey Arts Center, the show’s sponsor and its volunteers we’re totally buttoned up and professional. I sprang for the “reserve” seating, up front, not only to see Haley Heynderickx and The Milk Carton Kids better but as an added measure of caution…more space. 

As soon as Haley opened her mouth, singing and playing Cat Stevens’ “Morning is Broken” I was transported to a new world, more hopeful and sacred than that other one outside the cathedral’s massive and ornate doors. Waif-like in appearance, Heynderickx is funny, exudes generosity, authenticity and OMG has a young Joan Baez voice that accompanies serious John Fahey-esque guitar chops.  She is a beautifully ironic lyricist too. I could have listened all night to this amazing opening act, wanting way more. First time hearing her live, I’ll definitely come back. 

The Milk Carton Kids did not disappoint. Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale make harmonies evoking Simon & Garfunkel, the Everly Brothers and masterful dueling acoustic guitars make the complexity of their voices weaved together all the more stunning. They are also very funny…almost Smothers Brothers-esque for those old enough to remember. They too, more than once and heart-fully each time, expressed gratitude for being able to share their art, at this time, in such a sacred place. 

At the end of a horrific news week, in the healing and transformative power of music, masked community within a holy place, I found “peace.”

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