The Awakening of Russell Henderson

Another weekly installment of Russell and his awakening. The book is available at

“Take some really deep breaths. It’ll help you relax. You’ll be fine. After all, you’re with me and I won’t ever let you down,” turning, giving me a reassuring look.

We went off to the side of the low stage to tune up, then running quickly through the beginning of three tunes to get our fingers moving. Hanna took my hand and led me onto the small stage. The lounge was about three quarters full, various couples and families, having drinks, some having food, talking quietly. There was some mild clapping.

I felt like I was going to throw up. I was taking deep breathes, almost hyperventilating. Completely calm and in control, Hanna whispered that the sound system looked to be really good. There would be someone running a control board to balance out the different microphones. She showed me how to work my guitar microphone, what distance I should be from it and advised me that I needed to listen to the monitors, that we would both be facing front and that would be the only way to really hear what she was playing and singing. 

She smiled at me, “Just do what you can do and follow me. If you get lost, just back of a bit until you find your place. I’ll announce the songs, same order as we planned last night. You’ll do fine.” She reached up and gave me a quick peck on the cheek. Let’s break a leg.”

She then played a few chords and sang a few phrases into her mike. The monitors were really loud and she motioned for the sound guy to lower them a bit.

She tapped her mike which was already active and said, “Hello everyone, My friend, Russell Henderson is here with me tonight. My name is Hanna Martin. We’re from San Francisco and are happy to do some tunes for you. Here we go, and one and two and three — ” She launched into her intro and began to sing. I waited a few measures and gently came in with her. I was playing with her just like last night. What I was hearing sounded good. Her voice was so pure, it made me want to almost cry. All my jitters started to fade away. I was enjoying this. It felt good. 

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