I dedicated this set to Joe Thomas.
Well, last time I had a gig here in Gainesville I wrote a post mortem, and it was rather negative. That time it was a solo gig, this time I shared the evening with Kathleen Taylor (lovely, sweet, nimble-fingered and generous) and Cracker the Box (intense, groovy, bluesy, first-rate and dark), but I will let them assess their own performances. As for mine, well, I am still struggling with my voice… I don’t yet seem to have found it. Due to a number of–uhm…er…uh… changes–my voice has become a source of major complication and profound insecurity.
But, apart from that, it may have, surprisingly, been the most at ease and competent I have ever felt on stage anywhere at any time. Why? I don’t know. The crowd was surprisingly large and the room pleasantly packed. The other acts were known in town and beloved, my soundcheck was a nightmare of insecurities and sad shrill mumblings… but somehow, by Saraswati’s grace, once I sat down and looked out at everyone, I just felt “ON.” I decided on-the-spot to forget about my insecurities about my voice and just give ‘em the best I was able to do at the time, and to lean into THAT; lean into all I had. I decided not to question myself or freak out, just to freaking sing! So sing I did.
And far more amazing, something else happened that was quite a shock, all the little bluesy bass notes I popped with my thumb, all the little variations and riffs were there, RIGHT THERE where I needed them to be. I had NO fumbling or loss of dexterity. Dear God, for the first time ever on stage… my fingers actually worked. For me the highlights of the evening were the electric numbers: McCartney’s “Letting Go,” and my original “Chokin’ ’99.” I felt good, felt on, felt as though people were in for a surprise as I was the unknown, the opening act, “she who had to prover herself.” As for the audience, they were very responsive, attentive, and appreciative… very appreciative.
And apart from half a can of PBR I was sober.
It was a good night.