The gig last night turned out to be a bit of fun. I always like workin’ with these guys but I was worried about the rain. Not just drivin’ the 50 miles but luggin’ my gear down a slippery flight of 6 or 7 stone steps.
As per usual, this so-called problem didn’t live up to its potential. The rain was less than a drizzle by the time I arrived and Mr. Mac, the drummer/percussionist for the group, helped me with my keyboard amp.
A young man held the entrance door open for me and asked, “What kind of music do you play?”
What kind of music? This is a very mellow band. Guitar, scaled down drums, chimes, shakers, stand up bass and keyboard. Almost acoustic. Jeff, the band leader writes excellent songs and we do our own arrangements of 17th century folk, pre-WWI ragtime, all kinds of gospel, jazz, not to mention plenty of 20th and 21st Century Blues.
I tell the young man, “I’d say ‘Americana’ sums it up best.”
Jeff was a bit more intense than usual. He has a record comin’ out and his bass player has booked an important show. He wants the band to be more comfortable, familiar, with the new stuff we’ve been rehearsin’. He told us before the gig we were all “too tentative with the material.”
Still, I wasn’t ready to jump in last night and heavy hand the new tunes. I like to grow into a song. Creep into it like a stray wind blown seed landin’ in the middle of a lush garden, takin’ root and blendin’ in with the rest of the plants lookin’ and (in my case) soundin’ like it has always been part of the pleasant audio foliage.
Which means, last night, I seemed to Jeff a bit more laid back than usual. And I’m usually very laid back.
I wanted to tell him, “Don’t worry. The big show will be a Big Show. It’ll turn out fine.”
But I didn’t.