Park City poet performs ‘A Father’s Love Letters’
Poet and spoken-word artist Mike Hamill will perform “A Father’s Love Letters” at 8 p.m. on Friday, June 15, at Draper City Amphitheater. For information, visit www.draper.ut.us/425/Amphitheater.
Park City-based poet and spoken-word artist Mike Hamill believes parenthood is the most important job in the world.
“I think the greatest thing we can do as a human is to become a parent, and the key to being a good parent, especially fathers, is being there for your children,” Hamill said. “I feel mothers and fathers have equally important roles, but I think a strong father influence is very important in raising a child.”
That’s why Hamill put together a live concert that he will present at 8 p.m. on Friday, June 15, at the Draper Amphitheater.
The concert, co-produced by Gerald Butters and sponsored by Back 40 Roadhouse Grill, is part of the opening ceremony for Draper City’s annual Daddy Daughter Celebration.
A screening of the 2017 film “Ferdinand” will follow Hamill’s performance.
“So, I’m opening up for a bull,” said Hamill.
Hamill’s show will feature videos by Nik Fry and the music of Rich Wyman, he said.
It will also feature a segment featuring from Kurt Bestor’s song, “Prayer of the Children,” and live music performed by music director John Flanders on saxophone, flutes and keyboards; Tracy Neilsen on drums; Shawn Vincent on guitar; Richie Vazquez on bass and Tom Scriber on keyboards.
Walter James Woods, Bella Woods and Sue Rowe will provide the backup vocals.
The music is culled from Hamill’s 1988 album, “A Father’s Love Letters.”
“I started writing poetry back in 1974, and after I had my daughter, Harmony, in 1984, I started writing poems about her,” Hamill said.
The poet showed his works to a friend who told him he should write a book.
Hamill did that and approached Park City’s award-winning singer and songwriter Rich Wyman about making a CD of the poetry with a musical accompaniment.
“We sat down and he asked what I had in mind with the pieces,” Hamill said. “I gave him some ideas and he would play something.”
Once the music was written, the two went to Woodland to record the music in a studio owned by the late Ricci Martin, Dean Martin’s son.
“After we finished recording my voice, Rich told me he didn’t want to see me until he was finished with the CD,” Hamill said. “It took him five days to do that.”
When the album was complete, Hamill took the finished product for a spin to hear how it sounded.
“Rich nailed the emotion of each piece,” he said.
Wyman recruited the help of Michael “Saxman” Johnson, who played saxophone and flutes, and bassist Jonni Lightfoot, who played for Air Supply for 19 years.
Animating Hamill is the idea that, when it comes to parenthood, a father has only one shot at getting it right.
“I’m not trying to tell people how to be parents, but a child learns how to walk only once,” he said. “A child learns how to talk only once and ride a bike once. So I just think it’s important as a parent to keep your eyes open and be there for those experiences, and give them some good moral guidelines.
“I only hope it will help parents realize that their kids grow up so fast and it’s important to pay attention,” he said.
Utah’s Poet Laureate Paisley Rekdal will perform her book-length work ‘West: A Translation’ Thursday at the Kimball Art Center