Nerves, if you don't have 'em you must be dead.

Nerves... oy! An invitation to be one of four singer-songwriters at a new venue was received and accepted about a month ago. My friend Chuck Williams who was one of the invitees, generously recommended me to fill the bill. I had been somewhat of a nag asking him what the "format" was i.e. how large was the stage and could I bring my band (a trio, including myself). Well, the nerves kicked in about a week and a half prior to the gig, when I was told... "It is all about the song, so it's just you and your instrument." First I felt panic, then inadequacy and then a round and round bout of nerves... ye gads, I haven't played "solo" in donkey's years! SO, I diligently began practicing my songs especially with that solo presentation in mind...

The great thing about this "lesson" was that I approached e very song I considered suitable for this 30 minute set, and began re-interpreting the accompaniment.... how were the parts played by the other instruments I had originally arranged for my last recording (All on my CD "I'm Taking My Time")...

It was especially illuminating to approach my guitar playing as not just the backup instrument, but also as a solo instrument, playing horn parts, percussive parts etc. a little more carefully than I had in the past.

The gig has come and gone... the day was spent preparing by nourishing myself adequately, drinking a lot of water and tea and rehearsing the tunes that were still a bit problematic... a three-mile walk  two hours before I had to leave for the gig got me into a good mood... and I dressed appropriately and remembered to pack my car with a guitar stand, some CDs, a music stand and a book of lyrics....just in case.

When my turn came to take the stage, and with the lyrics there to prompt me just in case my memory failed me.... I began my set, arranged for variety of pace and subject... I introduced each tune by only explaining the motivation for writing each song and by the time my set was over, I was feeling very good about myself, and by realizing how nerves can actually help one get through a gig.

Oh, and I slept like a log after getting home, happily exhausted by a good night's "work".

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