Chris Daniels back with his Kings

Last night I saw Chris Daniels and The Kings play at Ameristar casino in Blackhawk, Colorado. It’s an interesting stage set-up. The band is elevated above the circular bar. Chris was diagnosed with leukemia early in 2010. He spent months at M.D. Anderson in Houston where I believe he received a bone marrow (stem cell?) transplant from his sister. The details aren’t important. What’s important is this: after each set Chris would tie the hospital gauze mouth cover thingy around his neck and head. This is quite a sight to see. A Colorado legend on the music scene, Chris, like any musician, has played gigs to near empty rooms. But he’s also played before hundreds of thousands in Europe. To see him tie on this face mask after singing and playing his heart out was such an odd, yet powerful visual. Here’s a guy who was on death’s doorstep, and is still not out of the woods, but he’s back doing what he loves most, playing with his band. His voice was good, his guitar was great, his wit and commentary were as sharp as ever. What an inspiration! Many of us don’t get a “second chance” or a “warning sign” in our lives. Chris did and he’s clearly capitalizing on it. At the end of the show, after he had his mask reattached and was kneeling down fiddling with his gear, I shouted: “Hey Chris, thanks, great show! He looked up and smiled and then lifted the black Cowboy hat off his head and scraped his scalp, which is slowly re-growing hair, as if to say: “I’m back, but God willing I’ll be all the way back!” God bless you, Chris, and good luck in your ongoing battle. You have faced down your own mortality and come out smiling, laughing, singing and still playing a mean guitar, no matter what the genre, no matter rhythm or lead.

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