This evening I will be performing a handful of original tunes – songs I have written – in front of an audience, something I have not done in over 20 years. I am feeling pretty (insert adjective here) about it. I have a list of adjectives to choose from regarding it, though none seem to hit the mark quite right.
I blame my buddy for all this. We reconnected at a St. Patrick’s Day celebration hosted by the family of our deceased friend. I was inquiring about a post he shared on Facebook regarding a song he was authoring for the Americana style band he plays in. He had remarked that the song was stalled as he does not feel he has a knack for writing lyrics and a melody line. So I offered to see if I could come up with something for him if he would be willing to send me the music.
Later that week he did send the music, and inspiration struck like an eagle snatching a salmon from the Sound. The moment I heard the riffs he had recorded the first line of the lyrics and melody flashed into my mind. Within a week I had flushed out the rest of the words and melody, set them into a rough recording, and sent it off to my friend.
Well that process somehow became the porchlight to my muse in moth form. I became inspired to lay down a recording of the ode I had written about the passing of our aforementioned mutual friend (I recently shared this song on the podcast – check out Minister Mini #3: Everywhere), a song that I had been carving out over the last year or so.
Once the song was recorded I was moved to share it with my buddy, my late friend’s widow, and another friend that we played with in bands together back in our teens. This friend also happens to have a band that was the last band my departed friend played in before he died.
Next thing I know, he is asking me if I want to play the song live as an opening for his band at the coffee shop down the street. I kind of surprised myself when I agreed, as I have been in this self-imposed musical exile for so many years now. As this evening’s showtime approaches I hear the crows of criticism cawing in my head, speaking to my rough chops as a guitar player, parts of melody that reach the top of my vocal register, a rusty singing voice that is layered with a couple of decades of dust…
…then I remind myself that the three songs I will play are from the heart, and I present them from the heart then the truest essence of what these songs are about will come through. Time to once again unveil the vulnerability upon which these songs are created, while reminding myself this is all about expression rather than acceptance.