So I had a solo gig this past weekend. It was the first one since my “I’m thinking of quitting” fiasco. So I probably need to address that to some extent.
Ah… I’m not quitting. I had some conversations with people a lot more reasonable and intelligent than me and I’ve seen the errors in my previous thinking. Mea culpa. Maxima mea culpa. And my thanks to those who got me through it. I failed to recognize that the bad place I was in had less to do with music than with some personal issues and I overreacted. There. We good?
Now… The gig.
It went pretty well, I think. I did mostly new material. Had about 15 people show up (in a Christian coffee house with no booze, that’s like having filled Wembley). Good friends there that night. And family. Even my uncle showed up, which I was not expecting.
I opened the evening. Just me and my guitar. Played about 30 minutes. I was followed by Remnant, who were much more Rock based. They gave me a shout-out from the stage more than once. Nice folks. The night was closed by Mike Rimmey, who I’d actually shared a stage with before when I was playing bass in the Michael Feldman Group. Traded a couple war stories and bought his CD. Good to see him again. He writes great songs.
It was a sort of different set for me. As I said, I did mostly new material along with a cover of Queen’s “I Want to Break Free” and Larry Norman’s “Six Sixty Six.” The new stuff is kind of soul bearing. I mean…I guess it always is…but I’m intentionally going deeper than I have before, even making myself uncomfortable at times. “The Ring I Almost Gave Her” is a prime example of that–and it’s the one people keep talking to me about. I’m pleased with that.
In “The Ring…” I make reference to my mom, who died 19 years ago this month…and this seems as good a time as any to tell this story… I visited Mom’s grave on the anniversary of her death this year–first time I’ve ever done that. I was surprised and unprepared to see the sunflower someone left there for her. She loved sunflowers. I don’t know who left it, but it made me grateful. I guess I stayed about 15 minutes just kinda talking to Mom about things that are going on and stuff that had me down–even after 19 years without her, sometimes a guy just still needs his mom… After I was done, I said a small prayer and sat down on a stone column they have there for a moment to collect myself. And it started raining. I wasn’t prepared for that either, and I’m torn on if it meant anything.
…but that’s why I decided I was doing that song this weekend, I think.
It has been a weird couple of weeks. I think this gig was important for me to do for a few reasons. It went well and it felt good and people were really encouraging–especially my brother who said, “That was some of your best songwriting.” I won’t soon forget that–he’s heard most of it, after all.
I don’t know when I’ll get the chance to do that again. But I guess the important part is that I want to. And I wouldn’t have called that two weeks ago.
Pretty Much the Story of My Life
Of Death & Dying
I Want to Break Free (Queen Cover)
The Ring I Almost Gave Her
Six Sixty Six (Larry Norman Cover)
Born in this Town
Guitar Used: Parkwood acoustic.
Thanks to everybody who was there.