Last week, I played a short set at Budde’s open mic over in Galesburg. It was one of the best sets I ever played… but why?
I wasn’t particularly technical; I screwed up a few times, but kept going. So why did it feel so good? I think part of the answer lies in audience reaction – for some reason, they were paying more attention than normal and supported my playing with cheers and hoots. Obviously, that gets a musician motivated.
But I think it was more than that… for some reason, confidence was strong (that’s not a given), so I sang louder and with more conviction. Though I’m not sure why I felt better that night than others.
What I noticed most was that I felt part of the music. I wasn’t just playing a few songs – I was inhabiting them. I was feeling the strings, flowing with the music, almost surfing over the music with the lyrics. I was in there and believing it, and because of that, I think the end product was greater than the sum of its parts.
I was a magical feeling, but certainly elusive for me. Maybe one day, the recipe for that magical musical gumbo will reveal itself for me; until then, I’ll be content for those rare moments when I truly inhabit the music. After all, that why I keep coming back to play!

Last week, I played a short set at Budde’s open mic over in Galesburg. It was one of the best sets I ever played… but why?
I wasn’t particularly technical; I screwed up a few times, but kept going. So why did it feel so good? I think part of the answer lies in audience reaction – for some reason, they were paying more attention than normal and supported my playing with cheers and hoots. Obviously, that gets a musician motivated.
But I think it was more than that… for some reason, confidence was strong (that’s not a given), so I sang louder and with more conviction. Though I’m not sure why I felt better that night than others.
What I noticed most was that I felt part of the music. I wasn’t just playing a few songs – I was inhabiting them. I was feeling the strings, flowing with the music, almost surfing over the music with the lyrics. I was in there and believing it, and because of that, I think the end product was greater than the sum of its parts.
I was a magical feeling, but certainly elusive for me. Maybe one day, the recipe for that magical musical gumbo will reveal itself for me; until then, I’ll be content for those rare moments when I truly inhabit the music. After all, that why I keep coming back to play!

« »