The view from my new used windshield.
This last week, after about a month off, I had two music gigs. One was at The Celtic Cowboy, where I started this version of my playing life. It was good to flex the muscles again. It’s four hours of riding the wave, attempting to be whatever it is folks need while keeping in mind that it isn’t a Joel Corda Concert. Volume low. This is background music. Connect where you can. It’s a skill. Sometimes, you knock it out of the park and sometimes you strike out miserably. Wednesday, I was somewhere safely in the middle.
Friday’s gig was a ride to Fort Benton to a beautiful coffee shop. The proprietors wanted two hours of original music. New place. New to me. All original tunes. I was anxious and excited. I don’t get to play all originals ’round these parts. I slip ’em in here and there, but most of my gigs, people want something they recognize and remember. They want something familiar.
The worst that can happen at a gig? No one listens. No one cares.
On Friday, I played my songs to, generously, fifteen to twenty people coming in and out to pick up coffee and food. Lily and Kristen, the ladies behind the counter, were great throughout. Some high schooled-aged young women were very encouraging during the last half hour (Thank you, ladies!).
When I was packing up, I heard very complimentary things about my work from the few folks that were around. That always makes me feel good. I asked what Friday nights were normally like. I was told that it was hit and miss. This week, sadly, was definitely a miss.
The explanation? One word:
“People live and die with it around here.”
Lonely ride, but that and this view make for good, sad country songs.
I drove home thinking about the meaning of it all and the why of it all.
I play music, of course, because I want people to hear it. I want them to be moved by it, one way or another. But, really, I would write and play music if no one was listening. I live and die with it around here.
This summer has been a series of closed doors.
I wanted to record another album. My producer is booked until September. I, I wait on that front. It gives me time to write new songs, to work the album art, to make a video concept, etc.
I have been absent from these writings. It’s not that I have nothing to say, far from it, but the absence of a target, a goal, tells me it’s time to chill out. So, I am, in my way, chilling out. My web guy, John Oswald, has been working toward making my music available on this site for some time. It an be frustrating, but I trust John is finding the best way to accomplish this goal, which is not necessarily the easiest way. So, I wait on content a bit. Why market with nothing to sell? It comes.
In its time.
The podcast, The Questioning Catholic, is also at a pause. Between weddings, anniversaries, vacations, trips to Ireland,etc, it has been trickier than one would think to make it all happen. This is good to know. I always think summer is going to be one thing, go a certain way, and I am consistently wrong. We will have to have enough episodes in the can going into next summer to take the season off. It is good to know these things.
Editing continues. It’s slow going. I am not doing it myself because, stubbornly, not only do I not want to, but I’d like another set of eyes on the work. For a collaborative art form, I don’t want to keep the lion’s share of work for myself. I figure writing, acting, producing, directing (sometimes) and writing the music is already a bit too much of me. Strange, I know. I have a strong editor, so I am excited about this work, too. I am just an impatient animal.
This all sound like complaining.
It’s not meant to be, but it sure sounds like it.
PS Head out to Fort Benton. Get some coffee or ice cream or whatever looks good to you from Wake Cup Coffee or The Grand Union. Take a walk across that bridge. It’s really pretty and there are good folks out that way.
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