Saturday, January 29, 2005

Up North

Well, it is now Saturday night and it is cold outside. I spent most of my day driving home from St. Ignace. Last night I played at the Kewadin Casino with the Gratitude Steel Band. St. Ignace is on the North side of the Mackinac bridge, in the U.P. It was difficult for me to cross the big bridge and not turn west towords my hometown of Marquette. This morning as I got in my car to go home, I was very tempted to take the 3 hour jaunt over to Marquette, say hi, and head back. I didn't.
It was a good gig, although we had some sound problems and the crowd was small and less than enthusiasic, (sometimes it can be difficult to get people in the caribbean mood when it is -7 degrees outside). Once we got the bugs worked out of the sound, and stopped trying to get guys in snowmobile suits to do the limbo, the band got focused on the music and we had some great musical moments. I always have a great time playing with Guy Barker. He always plays with incredible energy and enthusiasm. Actually, the whole steel band plays with an energy that is very hard to find in the music business.
So many, (too many) career musicians play with this 'just another gig' attitude that makes it difficult to play up to their full potential. I believe you should always play with the idea that there is something to discover no matter where, what, or who you are playing with. Musical moments have no ego. They can come on stage infront of thousands of people, or at home in front of your cat. The key is to always pay attention so you don't let any of those moments pass without bringing it out and giving yourself to it. I live for those moments, and I love to play with people who feel the same as I do. I like the steel band, because they play with both spontinaity and focus from the beginning of the gig to the end. Of coarse there are always things that I would do differently if it was my band, but I won't get into that now. I love to play with them, and I look forward to the next show.

-John

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