Ah.. The life of the small-time roadie. I would wish it upon anyone.
I never liked big coliseum music shows. I’ve seen, in my life, in a large venue: Rush twice. That’s it.
In mid-sized venues, I have seen: Steely Dan, Barry Manilow, and that lady who plays the piano that my good friend was obsessed with for a while (sorry – can’t recall the name, but she’s pretty famous). I’m pretty sure that’s it, and I’m perfectly content to keep it that way.
I always felt somewhere inside that there was something unsatisfying about seeing a musician perform, from the far-side of a football field, although I did always wish I had gotten to see the farewell tour of The Who. But music should be more intimate, and personal. That’s why I am a big fan of subway busking.
A few years back, I met a gal at a party who claimed to be a “singer-songwriter”. At the time, I had no clue what that meant, except I guessed it meant she played music. I was thrilled later when I looked her up online and found a few of her demo recordings. The songs were about love and angst, the voice was sweet magic, and I knew how to get in touch with her to arrange a date. Pretty neat, I thought.
Now we’re married, and I’m the roadie. That means, I get to carry stuff, and I get personal introductions to dozens of fantastic singer-songwriters, many of whom are now good friends.
A few of them are going to be performing right in my neighborhood next week – Wednesday, August 18th, at the Brewed Awakening coffee shop in Metuchen, NJ (nice coverage and fantastic photos of the previous show in this series on the Metuchen Living site):
- My dear wife and Hostess Extra-ordinaire, Sharon Goldman, who also spends a good bit of her time maintaining the Songwriting Scene blog (for which I, the eternal Geek-in-Law, am also “roadie”).
- Our dear friend Meg Braun, who is making the trip out from New York City to support the local Metuchen music scene. Her song, New Orleans from Tomboy Princess, is always a crowd-pleaser. And, being a sucker for songs about Life and Love, it’s always a treat to see this warm-hearted songwriter.
- And, Rich Deans, whose songs such as Don’t Dig My Grave too deep and House of Stone (available on Blue City at CD Baby) have sunk deep into my musical memory as much for having heard him perform them (Cafe Z in Rahway, NJ and John Street Jam in Saugerties, NY), as for when I have heard fellow songwriters perform covers of these songs over the years. (You can see the Pat Wictor cover on YouTube here.)
But I digress, with my shameless promotion of some of the wonderful singer-songwriters in my life.. 🙂
In the years since we met, my wife has occasionally lamented, sometimes as we packed up from a show at a coffee shop with a particularly hyper-active cappuccino machine, that singer-songwriters are “a dime a dozen”. To which I would always reply:
You add to the Fabric of the Universe.
The World can always use more music.
Note: The “Fabric of the Universe” line, I have always attributed to the character Data from Star Trek, but when I tried to find a reference for that line, I was not able. Perhaps I am mis-remembering..
I think it’s a common Quirk of the Talented, to not see oneself as special. Not being a talented musician myself, and having enjoyed a front-row seat on what I consider to be some of the truly most talented musicians in the World, it is equally hard for me to understand any lack of arrogance in a talented singer-songwriter. True, lugging equipment around and booking shows can be tiring and tedious, but when I hear the magic that comes from some of these singers, I feel like I am a member of a privileged class.
There are a LOT of talented people around. And I would gladly fill my days with seeing them all perform as often as possible. And as luck would have it, I am getting to do just that! (For example, on the 18th, right in my own backyard coffee shop – I’ll be the untalented guy carrying equipment. :-))