when you make music your profession, much of the time you’re not really “busy.” that is, you’re not performing 8 hours a day, five days a week. i mean, there’s stuff to do, to be sure. i probably spend more time doing solo practice each week than most people spend actually working at work. not to mention, the songs we sing don’t spring from no where. its a long hard slog from the first spark of an idea to the completed song. a finished song can actually mean dozens of hours of just unhappily NOT writing the right thing. if you think your job is demoralizing, try writing a song — something you’re supposed to be good at — and sucking like 89% of the time!
anyways, sometimes things get ridiculously busy — as they did last week. last week was one of those weeks where i couldn’t believe the things i was doing, i couldn’t believe how little sleep i was getting, or how much pressure there was to complete things, or how i was staying upright. and yet i did. sometimes its just like that. of course, you can’t maintain that kind of schedule for too long! I wound up pretty ugly and sick by Sunday night. but i did manage to do all the work i was supposed to. and that is something, let me tell you.
Take last Thursday, for example. I had two great duo gigs that night with Elijah Tucker (of Generous Music). But one was at 7pm in Marlboro, NY and the other was at 945pm at Bard College (annandale-on-hudson, NY). now the day before — wednesday — i’d traveled up to Brewster NY for an epic rehearsal with the Jon Bates Band as we get ready for the coming wedding season. that means learning a crapload of new songs and brushing up on old stuff that we haven’t played in a while. and since our last serious gigs were probably around the holidays, its a chance for everyone to course-correct for the year.
I wound up crashing at Jon’s house so i’d already by out of the city the next day and not have to deal with evening traffic. of course that meant i’d have to bring my Thursday work up with me to work on before the Marlboro gig. And that i did. I rocked out a blog post for the Perpetual Post the night before, caught a serious 4+ hours of sleep, and popped back up to work. Spent the majority of the day working on the Wizard of Oz reharms for a production later this spring (auditions for that were Sunday morning), part of the time running over music for gigs on Friday and Saturday night, and the last hour or so running through my own solo material and making charts for Elijah for the gig that night.
Then I took off around 4 to pick up Elijah at the Beacon train station and we made tracks up to Marlboro. To a hip spot called the Falcon and if you’ve never heard me talk about it before, you’ll hear me talking about it soon enough. We combined a soundcheck with a mini-rehearsal, made some quick-n-dirty arrangements, and then ate dinner (they got great burgers there — and wedge fries!). the headliner was late showing up, so we wound up going on a bit late and playing a bit long. but it was a solid a beautiful set with each of us playing on each other’s songs and premiering a couple of new tunes as well. really was a blast and i have some photos taken by the house photographer, Jim Rice, that i will insert throughout.
Once we finish, Elijah did the CDs thing while I packed up the gear. we exchanged a few warm words with the owner of the joint, Tony Falco, and then we had to hit the road. we actually walked out the door right as the headliners, the Sean Smith Quartet, were about to hit the downbeat.
A zoom up 9W to Bard, where we showed up about 20 minutes late — but the cat opening for us there, Mr. Ian Turner, was keeping things on the up and up. then we set up shop around 10 and played another set of the same music. this one, a little dirtier and looser, but a ton of fun as well.
Done around midnight, we packed the car, and headed back to the City. its a 2 hour drive from Bard to Brooklyn, if you hit no traffic and the lights are with you. midnight’s the best time to be on the road. except for the sleepiness. we made it back in one piece. i dropped of elijah. i dropped of the car around the corner. made it to my bed, and i dropped off to sleep . probably around 430, all told. and i was up at 8am Friday to finish those Oz charts, shower, and catch an hour of practice before heading into Manhattan for another gig, this time with an expanded Generous Music ensemble (Mr. Mark Wixom on bass) for some school children in the Village. Then back to Brooklyn, to learn some tunes. the BACK to manhattan for an evening rehearsal at 30th street. and then back to Brooklyn for… well, it goes on.
Somewhere in there, my girlfriend got on a plane for South America… so she’s climbing a glacier somewhere near Antarctica. She’s radio silent til Saturday night, probably.
Meanwhile, the weekend: i survived it. but got sick. and spent the last two days (my first days off in weeks!) miserable in bed. tomorrow, the grind starts all over again. its another crazy weekend.
but like i said: sometimes its just like that.