Monthly Archives: May 2013

CMC Gig Post Mortem

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942856_10200302855227439_1732236576_nI 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.

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Gig Tonight

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Well, it’s here, gig night. I used to get so nervous on stage that I could hardly function at all, so I drank whiskey. But then again I drank whiskey in my coffee in the morning before going in to teach, drank whiskey when I practiced, and carried some around in a flask just in case I needed more. It worked, it helped, took the edge off enough that I could play. All that drinking and stagefright eventually forced me to stop performing at all.

Nowadays I don’t drink like that. And I don’t really feel as nervous, I get nervous, a little sloppy, but I still play better in public than I used to. And nowadays I have Saraswati to guide me, and I realize, thanks to my spiritual life, that being an artist, musician and teacher is my duty (in the largest sense) and so being nervous and failing to do my duty is something of a sin.

So, here it is, gig night, and I am ready to do my duty.

SAW Year One Lives On!

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It was amazing. The year is over but we ALL (all the students and Tom and I) got together tonight at Satchel’s Pizza to celebrate Adrian’s comic that he did for Satchel (and he actually made money!) then went back to SAW to watch a Spike Jones documentary. God was it a lovely evening. I think the warmth is so evident in this photo. Too bad you couldn’t see Sally or Anna (my two favorites, I don’t know if I’ve said this before, but their work stands head and shoulders above the rest-wink-). And to top it off, the photo doesn’t make me want to cry, I actually think I look rather pretty. And to the barefoot fans who read in, of course I was barefoot!Barefoot Justine Mara Andersen and students from SAW enjoying Satchel's Pizza