There are two times of the day that I have my own undivided attention, with nobody else around, and I actually make my best decisions. Let’s call one of those times “indisposed” and the other “bathing”. Both take place in the same room of my house.
Last week, as I was washing my hair in the shower, I realized that I have only written two songs since releasing Logic and the Heart in October 2011. This was a very discouraging revelation which led me to think about why I haven’t written more.
Life got in the way. So many things have happened in the past three years and I simply had no time to sit and create new songs. I found just enough energy to work on songs written by other people, which I already knew, and worked them into my repertoire. That wasn’t a bad thing, but it’s not what I had expected, or planned.
Now, here it is the beginning of 2015 and I’m starting to write again. I have a few kernels of songs ready to pop. I’m working with my best pal, Beth Sherby, on a song that she started and asked me to co-write. We got together last night to work on that tune and also to warm up our for our gig next Friday night. I’ll say this, Beth grounds me as a musician. She runs circles around my guitar-playing, but our voices blend magically. Here’s a little taste of what happened when we played a cover of Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol. The camera angle isn’t great and neither is the vocal balance, but those are the perils of using the iphone. Click to watch the video. It’s worth it.
Now it’s Sunday night, and I’ve just come home from Open Mike at Godfrey Daniels. There were only eight of us and it was snowing pretty hard, so we modified the format to be an acoustic song swap circle. Two times around and that would be it. On the second round, Mike Duck, a.k.a. Not For Coltrane, started a song “written by a friend” and I recognized it instantly. It was Logic and the Heart, and he was playing a wonderfully upbeat rendition of it. This simple act revealed something for me: it’s very exciting hear a song you’ve written and recorded when it’s playing on the radio, but it’s a whole other feeling when you hear someone else perform it. Yes, it’s flattering, but more than that, it’s validating. (and yes, I played along because I was the only other person in the room who knew the chords.)
Cheers to my friends, and thank you for sharing your craft.