I must admit that I haven’t been very good about posting updates here. Between the day job and being a bandleader, most of my introspection happens while driving, or working out – pretty far from the keyboard. But one constant theme running through recent that nights I’m out supporting live music (which, thankfully, have become more frequent) is that it really does feel like we have a true music community going. More and more, I walk into the bar (often solo) and am greeted by folks I’ve shared bills with, recorded with, or played with at one time or another, and it just. feels. good. It hasn’t always been this way. Maybe it’s just the specific scene I’m making lately…it’s hard not to notice that most of these bands are fronted by smart, interesting, talented women. Let’s face it, longevity in any music scene is tricky, and it takes pretty thick skin to keep your spirits up sometimes. Right now, mine are up … see you out there.
On July 29th we attended the annual JAM, an event for volunteers for Bread & Roses. I was proud to be given an award for 15 years of shows, which was very flattering. I certainly haven’t played every year, but apparently the years – and shows – have added up. They have one thing in common – walking into a room full of people who can’t, for various reasons, get out to see live music. You walk in, and basically say “yes, we’re total strangers, but here are some songs I brought for you”. It doesn’t matter if the room is filled with tension, anxiety, depression, or silence, music connects us during the time that we’re together. When it’s over, we’ve shared something real, and there is always a touch on the arm, a smile, a hug, questions, personal stories, and real warmth. I’ve always felt that it was time well spent, and honored to contribute. As my partner Paul put it: “These people do good work, and they do it in a dignified, low-key manner, letting the work speak for itself.”
Having a new website feels like such a clean, fresh start…my previous one went live in 2010, and became pretty cluttered over time. I hope you’ll visit here often, because I plan to use this space for all kinds of things: upcoming shows, who I’ve seen play and what I’m listening to, who I’m collaborating with, and probably some reflections on the balance between making music and making a living.
In terms of the creative process…well, that’s a topic for future posts. Inspiration lurks everywhere, and it usually hits when I least expect it (how does that work for you?). I just try to pay attention and trust something that’s, frankly, a bit of a mystery at times. I’ll wrap this up with a quote from Elizabeth Gilbert:
“The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them. The hunt to uncover those jewels, that’s creative living. The courage to go on that hunt in the first place – that’s what separates a mundane existence from a more enchanted one.”