.. than this past one. I always pride myself on rarely getting sick (usually an annual event) but this week I managed to contract a stomach virus, laryngitis and a cold in the same week….oh, yeah, I had a root canal on Monday. Actually, the dental procedure had the least effect on me. I have a second one scheduled tomorrow provided my cold has left me (which seems to be the case). These sort of maladies always go thru me quickly, due primarily to my 30-year regimen of mega-vitaminizing every day and relying on my Buddhist practice to stay on track no matter what.
I did play a solo gig this past Friday without a speaking voice of any sort (aka Miles Davis) at MilkBoy, a local acoustic music cafe. Sadly, the audience apparently didn’t know that a guitar can be featured without vocals. People talked loudly over my performance, took cell calls and stood in front of the stage during my set. I was tempted to do a Keith Jarrett and chastise them (which I have never done before) but I had no voice, even with the mic. So I soldiered thru the set, played what I thought were some superb versions of my own pieces and interpretations of others then gave up the stage to Trey Overholt. To his credit Trey applauded after each piece even though no one else did (except for three people after I Shot The Sheriff) and kicked off his own vocal-oriented set splendidly. Of course, as soon as he sang his first note the crowd became silent. With no bad feelings to Trey, it proves the sad fact that some listeners prefer the comfortable and the familiar.
I often think that I can make things better in my hometown if I just bring the music to the listeners and let them see/hear what it’s about. I always play at the highest level and realize I did my best and if one person got an inkling then it was worth it. But I won’t be playing this room again and stress that instrumental players look for gigs other than this.
On a brighter note, I’ll be announcing the new CD release this week. As You Are would have gotten pitched to the world this past week if not for the nasty germs that invaded me.
Then there’s the Group — I have been consciously attempting to book the group in venues where we can make actual money (where we don’t go in the
hole after paying for parking) and have a draw and the region is on the lite side. The group never plays background music (which is what many people feel jazz is) and needs to connect with the market that wants to hear serious playing. With the acceptance of players like Jeff Beck, Scott Henderson and Eric Johnson I know good playing has a following. I’ve allowed the group to get more electric and play with more abandon. Following our set at the Kimmel Center last year I ended up on some top 20 list of ‘Hot Guitarists of the Week’ (which I promptly lost track of) that also included the aforementioned gentlemen in no particular order. While I will be bringing the guys in for the Witherspoon Grill after T’giving, we can’t push things over the edge there (though we do push things pretty far for a restaurant gig).
I think I’ve been home a bit too much this week — Friday night didn’t count (see above). Once my life condition rebounds I’ll be pushing forward as usual.
Thanks for checking in — hope to see everyone soon.