I’ve had my “booking hat” on, and have been working to expand my concert schedule. It’s been a fascinating process. One of my all-time favorite musicians, the late Jeff Beck, would take years-long hiatuses before returning with a fresh perspective on music and a fresh set of skills and sounds to offer. Since I was a teenager, I saw him as a model of musicianship. He kept growing and evolving, and when he left this world at age 78, he was at the peak of his capabilities.
Along with many folks, I’ve been “returning” over a period of months from a prolonged (involuntary semi-) “absence” of my own. The break with my pre-pandemic routines has given me a fresh perspective and clarity on this strange life of making music for others to listen to. It’s begged questions to which the answers are surprisingly simple: Why do it? Because it’s enjoyable and satisfying. Is it still viable for me as a career? For now, I don’t know - but I’ll keep going. Does anyone (besides me) care? Most emphatically yes. My new CD FLARE became the #1 album, with the #1 song, on the Folk radio charts a few months ago, and is still getting pretty good radio play. I’m enjoying renewing ties with folks who present concerts. And I’ve developed a few more skills and sounds at my disposal to offer. It’s good to be “back.” I’m feeling great, and I'm fortunate to have spent two decades of my life doing what I love, and more fortunate still that there are people who want to hear what I’m up to. (Thank you!) I’ll keep making music, no matter what. And I hope - following the examples of Jeff Beck and the many other musicians I admire - to keep getting better at it each day. If you’d like for me to come to your town, and have some ideas how, reach out - let’s see if we can make it happen.
How do you get fresh perspective on your life? Has time away from your routines ever helped you see life differently?
Jeff Beck "Cause We've Ended as Lovers" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lw8fBR_XiPs Sublime!
Ears and Eyes: What I’m Listening to and Reading
Fred Hersch and Jay Clayton, Beautiful Love https://sunnysiderecords.bandcamp.com/album/beautiful-love-remastered
(I've been lucky to take workshops with Jay, an extraordinary vocalist, composer, and improviser.)
Miles Davis, In a Silent Way https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHesqaMhh34
Kathryn Scanlan, "Kick the Latch" https://www.ndbooks.com/book/kick-the-latch
Anand Giridharadas, "The Persuaders: At the Front Lines of the Fight for Hearts, Minds, and Democracy."