My therapist is right. She told me: “You are a person who places a great deal of importance on being genuine. You become frustrated when your true self isn’t allowed expression.”

This was a genuine evaluation, and it hit the mark sharp and pure. I had never really analyzed this facet of myself. I aspire to be as genuine as possible. In others my highest esteem is given to this un-fakeable characteristic.

Since seeing Tina Dico last January, I have tried to pinpoint what is so compelling about her. I discussed this with my wife, who is also becoming quite a fan. Aside from writing songs which have great lyrics and a tremendous hook – every one of them – I identify with her. She is The Real Deal. Her lyrics are raw and personal. What you see is what you get. The persona and the person are so closely linked it is indistinguishable.

When I met Tina at the Highline in New York City in early 2011, I was taken by her interest in MY interest in HER. At the time I only knew a few songs. My friend Antek was so enamored by her presence, when I took a photo of him with his arm around her shoulder, two clicks later his knees had turned to jello and he slinked away. This left me to try my hand at conversation without much knowledge beyond that evening. Since then I have collected her CD’s the way a squirrel gathers nuts.

This was a great moment as well as a missed opportunity. It isn’t that I couldn’t speak, I just didn’t know what to say. Now, a mere few months removed from that moment, I would have hours of questions and much to converse about.

While not every Tina Dico song moves me, many do. I listen. I hear the melodies. I learn the lyrics. I listen again. I sing along.

When I ‘discover’ a song, it resonates with me like a tuning fork. I also understand that – like a tuning fork – this exact song, melody, lyrics, and HOOK won’t resonate the same with everyone. (But that’s what makes music so cool.) Not everyone likes the same stuff, and you don’t continue to like the same stuff forever. Some music stays, some fades. Your personal tuning fork keeps adjusting with age. Different songs resonate differently at different times. Some wane. Some fall out of favor. Some come roaring back in, then out again.

Genuineness is no doubt why I like Joni Mitchell and Bruce Cockburn so much. They are – heart and soul, mind and spirit – true through and through. Few artists qualify. Tina has done a wonderful job in her art largely because – like great writing of any kind – when you are finished you feel as if you know the person better.

This song has been wearing out the victrola recently. I dedicate this to my beautiful daughter, (who is also becoming a huge Tina Dico Fan!)

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