Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Frog, The Spaceman, and Clint Eastwood

I'm practicing guitar more these days, since I'm holding one in every picture. I'm pretty good (for a girl, so they say), but I can be better. I love practicing, though. The Zen of finger exercises and scales settles me down.

Sight reading is more challenging. It's like guitar vitamins; no worse. Sight reading is like guitar cod liver oil. Blekkk!!! I like how it's affecting my playing, though. I'm learning a Spanish piece in e-minor. It's pretty. I may never play it for anyone, though. I'm like that frog on Bugs Bunny. Remember?

He dances for the spaceman, who then tries to get him onto Vaudeville (or something of that ilk), but the frog won't show off for anyone else. Spaceman goes crazy, frog keeps dancing.

It's probably recital fear. PTSD of the music world. I can relate. I'll improvise all day long, but ask me to play a rehearsed, note by note piece, and I "croak" - so to speak. I trust my musical instincts more than my memory.

But you know, music is worth playing just for yourself and God now and then. I don't always need an audience. It keeps the music pure, playing music for the sake of the music. Then it's truly play, not work. I want that spirit to pervade the live performances and recordings.

I'm playing - playing - the Bluebird on March 14th with my band. I usually do writer's night there, but I want to get out and sing songs from the new cd more, and have it sound semi-close to what we recorded. Having a band is challenging. It's so much fun. I like the practice as much as the show. It's just difficult to keep everyone busy enough to make the money right. I have the best players in the world. They will play for free, but I'm not going to let them. At the Bluebird, we can fit 110 people in there. It's $8 a ticket, and you have to spend $7 on food or beverage. If we can fill it up, all will be well.

The other day I told someone I'd never been a smoker, but that people assume I have. I'm not all wrinkled up like a smoker. I think it's the leather jackets, I told her. I was doing my dry-wit thing, but she wasn't following. Instead of giving me an affirming "of course you've never smoked" response, she gazed at me curiously and said, "But don't you play the Bluebird?" I gazed back, as you must be doing vicariously as you read this, and asked, "What does that have to do with smoking?" "Well, isn't it a bar? Don't they smoke there?"  Oh so many retorts you must be considering. I was polite, but standing there in my black leather duster, I think my eye twitched a little like Clint Eastwood in The Good The Bad and The Ugly.

That's all...I was just thinking about all that and thought I'd share it with you. Come to the Bluebird. Leave the stogie at home - they have a no smoking rule, as does the entire State of Tennessee.

Now go play!!

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