the first show went so well that they’re having us back tonight! I’m very excited that Michelle is joining me on the majority of the songs, and Mark will be playing bass too. so this should be a lot of fun.
also, we’re playing Prater’s Mill this fall, which should be really cool. I’m looking to fill in a few shows this summer and fall, so we’ll see what comes up.
finally, I’ve updated my main music website, so check it out here: http://www.wiegersfamily.com/music
so here at work they had a talent show, so I figured, what the heck, it should be fun. I was thinking of doing one of the songs I wrote, perhaps “Tear it down” since it’s about the building they tore down that was right next to our building. but then they announced it was a 70s theme, so I wrote We Had Love for the occassion: a song about Chattanooga in the 70s, and I threw in some references about the company too. most of the other entrants were doing stuff like “Proud Mary” and whatnot, so I didnt figure I had a chance of winning. I have nothing like the crowd-pleasing antics of a bunch of large women singing well and dancing like crazy.
so I didnt win. but it was still fun. I borrowed some cool 70s threads (thanks Jade, Isaac and Joe), and when I stepped on stage there was a murmur through the crowd, so I think they thought it was cool. I’m proud of the fact that I wrote and performed my own song (with my own instrument) and it was well-received. my boss, his boss, and his boss all had nice things to say.
as I ponder baby-steps toward performing some of my songs around town, I think this was a good experience. there was a pretty good crowd (500 maybe?), but I wasnt really nervous. the crowd wasnt really into the show in general, but I felt like they were happy with what I did. I always say my best rendition of a song is usually my best practice, and the actual performance (or worship service, as the case may be) is a notch down, but I think I did pretty well this time. I dont have much stage presence usually, as I tend to look down or away and not engage, but I got into it a little this time. I liken it to the persona that comes over me when I’m dealing with a sunday-school-class full of 3 year olds: I dont even recognize myself with all the enthusiasm and antics. I wont say it was quite that much, but I think I can get into a stage persona eventually. I am completely fine with being a quiet/boring person in general, but no one wants to watch a boring show.
so it was fun. next month I’m backing up my friend Chris at a fund-raiser, so that’ll be good. and I’ve got the possibility of playing for a neighborhood event later this year, so if I make the cut that’ll be a good next step.
I’ve had lots of musical dreams over the years. I keep most of them to myself. one that I’ve always thought was rather attainable is to play music together as a family. sometimes we do a little and it’s usually a good time.
long ago Michelle played guitar. in fact she played a whole lot. but that really was before we met, and while I’ll always be grateful that she brought a nice guitar into the mix, I’ve been a little sad that we havent played much together. there’s been a couple memorable exceptions involving church music, but nothing that ever lasted. it’s mostly been because health issues got in the way of her playing, but also I guess she lost interest. meanwhile my interest has been soaring.
so I wrote her the “Be My Nancy” song, and it seems to have struck a chord, so to speak. during our weekend getaway we worked on songs together, figuring out harmonies and a little bit of arrangements, and we were both excited about the results. so I burned her a CD of my songs (most of which can be found on this blog) and she’s been listening for harmonies and such.
then came word of our neighborhood coffee shop hosting a family music/open mic night, and that got us going a little more. so we practiced “My Aya” and “Be My Nancy” with me on lead vocals and octave mandolin, and her on harmony vocals and guitar. and if I do say so myself, I think we sound pretty good! it’s a little bit of work finding that sweet spot, since neither of us are naturally good at finding harmony (like some friends are). but once we find it, I’m really liking the results. anyway, we did our songs at the coffee shop, and they were well received by the very small audience.
so it really is a little dream come true to be able to make music together, and I’m hoping we can keep it up. I’m still amazed that I can put down songs that I enjoy singing, and it’s even cooler to do it together. so hopefully soon we’ll record some stuff for a little album to share. whatever happens with all this, we’re thankful for the gift of being able to dive into something we both enjoy together.
I got asked to play for a little local function, and I was happy to help out. it didnt turn out all that well though. in fact it was a bit of a disaster. actually I thought my playing/singing went OK, but the problem was I was pretty much the only one who could hear it. no PA, but that would’ve made it worse probably. it was in the community rec center gym, and there were kids running and screaming on the other half, so it was pretty much the worst possible “acoustics”. I’m guessing outer space or under water may have been better. they wanted “background music” and that’s certainly what they got.
so I did a couple songs, pretty much no one noticed. well one guy asked later if that was lute or a mandolin or what? I didnt even bother getting out the guitar for the other songs, as I got interrupted by announcments on a bullhorn (that no one could understand anyway).
oh well…maybe next time will be better.
My new album: original folk music -- songs of family, home and faith. Free download here (or better yet, buy a CD) Enjoy!
Simple SongsMy first album: original instrumentals on solo octave mandolin. Free download here. Enjoy!
Favorites/InfluencesGillian Welch, Buddy and Julie Miller, Vigilantes of Love, Toad the wet Sproket/Glen Phillips, Nickel Creek, Norman Blake, Chris Thile, Carter Family, Indelible Grace, Springsteen, Planxty, Caedmon's Call, Ben Folds, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Bela Fleck, Mike Marshall, Edgar Meyer