I’ve probably logged around 120 shows of varying type in the last couple years: solo acoustic, duets, The White Oaks, Metiér, I even played half a set of drums—after which I was promptly and appropriately fired.
It has been a good season of mostly performing with spurts of creativity where I can fit it.
And now it’s time to let the ground be fallow for a bit, to get out my musical crayons and doodle for no one in particular.
I don’t suspect that music will be always fun or easy, in fact it is at least half of the time not those things. But I sleep better on the days that I show up and make good music or write a song I’m proud of. I carry stories in my head: the guy who told me one of my songs was the first song in the seven years since his wife died that really got to him; someone else who requested I cover Carry On My Wayward Son and cried in front of his grandkids talking about how much it meant to them—he also asked if I’d play it at his funeral one day. So there are these things that make me glad I put the time in, and I suspect there will be more that will make hard work worth it.
And then there are the songs that I don’t like that I hard to write, but you don’t always get the songs you want to get. New King is definitely one of those. If it’s possible I am both very proud of that song and yet don’t like it at all. That song took a lot out of me with no intent of giving back, which is fine, it took some not great things out of me too.
So there is more work like all of that to be done, so I need to put some things back into the soil so the things that need to grow will have plenty to live off of.
There is a Psalm that talks about a righteous man being a tree planted by living water that bears its fruit in season. There is an arrogance to demanding that we should always be producing. These things have cycles, I’m trying to pay attention to that—which is hard work when you’ve been ignoring it for so long.
So who knows how much or little I’ll be popping my head up in the next few months, but rest assured it’s an investment in future work.