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Dear Musician: Exceptional Talent Is Not Dead

When you’ve got it … you’ve got it!


by Dendy Jarrett




You don’t have to be a fan to acknowledge exceptional talent, but when you’ve got it … you’ve got it. In Justin Timberlake and Chris Stapleton’s latest release, Say Something, it took two weeks of planning and 200 people, but they shot this video live with one cameraman. Amazingly it was pulled off in one single take. There aren’t multiple cameras, fancy editing, cut-ins, or the normal hoops that make a video enjoyable. It’s simply raw, exceptional talent.


Esquire magazine’s article explains the entire production process in a January 26th article that also shows the video and still shots from the video. Do yourself a favor – watch the video. If you didn’t know the back-story, it’s still great; but now that you do,…it’s even more fantastic.


I acknowledge that Justin got his largest early bump in stardom from being in a boy band. This, like many other boy bands, could have simply been a flash in the pan for him, but Justin’s talent stood out. It’s taken him far and wide. Few artists have a repertoire that has equal demographic reach.


When you combine his talent with another exceptional raw talent, Chris Stapleton, it’s a winning match.


But let’s put aside for a moment whether you like Justin or Chris or their music. What’s encouraging to me is that exceptional talent is not dead. In a world of instant everything where it’s hard to be impressed and wowed by anything anymore, they proved that when you’ve got it … you’ve got it.


So whether you’re an accomplished musician or a young musician just starting to learn your instrument – be inspired.


You should be encouraged that in a world of mediocre, readily available entertainment, you can still be pulled into great music by exceptional talent. You should also be inspired that great music is still being produced and that the light on music is not growing dim. No, exceptional talent is not dead … and with that, you should be motivated to pick up your instrument and go make better music!  -HC-






youtube video:






Dendy Jarrett is the Publisher and Executive Director of Harmony Central. He has been heavily involved at the executive level in many aspects of the drum and percussion industry for over 25 years and has been a professional player since he was 16. His articles and product reviews have been featured in InTune Monthly, Gig Magazine, DRUM! and Modern Drummer Magazines.


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Mikeo  |  February 19, 2018 at 1:27 pm
As a closet bluegrass fan, I have been a fan of Chris Stapleton for years, going back to when I first heard him in the Steeldrivers. Chris kind of disappeared for a bit and then appeared again a few years again with his solo  CD debut Traveler. That CD played in my car for weeks and  weeks, on my daily commute to work. I couldn't get enough of the album Traveler. Chris's other two CD's  From A Room Vol 1 and 2 are really great too. The Dave Cobb production is right up my alley, and I am familiar with Dave's production style through Jason Isbell.  and others. Although Timberlake did use Dave Cobb for his production, the song  is a good one and the best I have ever heard from  pop R&B icon Justin Timberlake.
Inspiration for the NSYNC/ Timberlake fans, and a little inspiration for the Chris Stapleton fans. There's nothing not to like about that video. 
In the famous words of Duke Ellington. If it sounds good, it is good.  

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