"Long Black Train"
Live at the CA Spring Concert May 2004

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 Mark Easley Jr. - Vocals       Mark Easley Sr. - Guitar

Click to listen to "Long Black Train (Live)"  mp3.

When my son was in eighth grade, he came to me one day and said "Dad, we are having our school chorus spring show soon. Can you help me with a song?"  I play guitar, and I had always encouraged my son to sing, so naturally I was interested to hear his idea. He liked to sing, but he had never tried to get up and sing a solo in front of everyone before. "Sure," I said, barely hiding my excitement, "what did you have in mind?"

A few weeks later, he and I found ourselves on stage at school in front of the entire school community of students, teachers, and parents, a crowd of about 500 people. We wore our matching outfits of jeans, western shirts, and cowboy hats that we thought would be a good match for the song. I was a little nervous, but I'm sure nothing like what my 14 year old son must have been feeling. I started strumming my guitar, and then my son burst into his well practiced song "There's a Long Black Train, comin' down the line…"

His voice was strong and clear, his attitude was fearless. He reached out to that audience, brought them along with his song and its meaning, and sang with everything he had. They listened with rapt attention, and then on the final chorus, they all jumped in to clap along with the song and the singer. It was a great moment of bonding and appreciation by the entire school community.

I was able to take in this entire wonderful scene from slightly behind and to the left of my son as I strummed my guitar. My son and I will never forget that moment, but for different reasons. For him, it was a big step in overcoming his fears and learning that taking risks can be rewarded. For me, it was one of those proud Dad moments, when you recognize that your child is growing into a terrific person.

Mark Easley Sr.

Recording and Photos by Mark Manring Recording and Photography.
 Used by permission.

Click on photo to enlarge.

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