So, been quite a while since my last gig, and a hell of a long while since my last blog post. What's up? A lot more of the same. Been on a bit of a hamster wheel of grown up obligations too boring to mention. Plus if I do start getting into it, i'll whine, and who wants to read that :) I'm improving, I guess. Better than the worst of it. Not quite back to my old self. But missing playing gigs, that is for sure. But what all of this resting has given me is the chance to listen to a lot of music. And I've found myself really getting back to listening to singers. I got into watching "Glee" (don't hate!), and that's actually steered me back on that path. I've been wondering a lot about what it is about what these artists do that compels me to listen so attentively. Lea Michele, Edina Menzel, Charise, Annie Lennox, Sinead, Tom Chaplin (Keane), Matthew Bellamy (Muse), Hailey Williams (Paramore), Kelly Clarkson, Brandi Carlile, The Civil Wars...and my (and apparently everyone else's current obsession)...Adele. That 23 year old south London girl hit the nail on the head, and finally helped me see what I couldn't quite get for 20 years. You can write songs, you can write and play beautiful music. You can have killer pipes. But until you take the heart on the page, and put it in every note of your voice, you just have a pretty voice.
I know I have pipes. But I get lazy. A lot of people do. I get misguided. I wanted to be Ann and Nancy Wilson all wrapped up in one (but black). I wanted to rock. But maybe that just isn't me. I write the heart felt lyrics, but I need the true bravery to put all of the feeling behind it and sing it properly.
I hid. We all hide. All day, every day don't we? So much easier. The older you get, the less time you have to really be yourself all the time. You are a lot of bits of different selves, and when you mix a songwriter with that, you get one schizophrenic individual. You have to. I know I have to. Because if I acted how I feel in my music, I couldn't get through daily life. So I hide. Age isn't my excuse. Before all of this recent stuff, I still hid. Behind guitar players, and big bands, and big noise, guitar playing, and closed eyes. It's natural. We all progress our own way. But Listening to Adele for some reason was my eureka moment. And suddenly I realized I have some work to do. And that's actually exciting.
So, I've got a crazy idea. I want to get back to singing, but my muscles are still pretty weak. Getting through a 10-song set while playing guitar is a lot to ask of me these days. But just singing with a pianist and keeping the guitar at home, and trying to see what happens when I don't hide...now that would be an adventure. I need to get stronger anyway, why not try to find that sweet spot. So I may actually start my way back that way. Never fear, I'm not hanging up the band and the Tele for good. Just for a gig or two until I get my full strength back. A few teeny gigs in small places. No guitar hauling, just bringing my instrument (voice), and my words, and trying to strengthen that first. One thing at a time...what do you think? Who's feeling that?