Some nights I feel like I am singing in a mall. Tonight–in a fun way–it felt a bit like I walked into the Natick mall at Christmas time and pulled out my guitar in front of the Apple store and started to play, but like every night down at the inn it evolved into a fun few sets mingled with some old ballads and some classic old sing-a-longs. My high school football coach, Dick Dimare, was waked at Charlie Dee’s, and so a number of my old football buddies showed up, so we enjoyed some good remembrances of a truly exceptional old-school coach. I remembered how he seemd to find a way to make each and every one of us feel like we were God’s gift to CC Football. I still enjoy, too, getting “razzed” by my old buddies who all grew up with me in a different time in Concord.

A part of me wished the night was more quiet and reflective, so I could share my old Concord songs–songs that are still etched in my head, but which I rarely play live. But still those songs live in a heart shaped and formed by a now long ago echo of a great childhood and batch of friends. I’ve always dreamed of just spending a night at the inn reliving and replaying those raspy, hard-bitten songs, for even in the lap of past joy there is the lingering smoke of trying times.

As often happens, too, people show who want or are willing to play with me–and often in place of me–and that also goes a long way to perfecting the joy of singing in a small hometown bar. Geoff Copley joined me for a fun batch of songs at the end of the night with his always tasteful guitar and laconic Irish wit. The hard part of recording the way I do is I only have my vocal mic and a guitar mic, so the full power of Geoff’s playing is too far back in the mix to get the full effect of how good it is–that and it always sounds like I talking to myself and not with the crowsd. A hockey playing friend of Denise and Will, Suzanne Freidman, also showed up and performed a heartfelt and awesome batch of songs–some original, some covers, but she really got the crowd’s attention, and a big and boisterous crowd it was. 

I can’t say I felt proud of my own work tonight. It is pretty humbling to hear myself singing and trying to get into some kind of flow. If anything, I feel like my voice is a bit too forced, my playing too fast, my banter too long and my memory stumbling along some unfamiliar verses, but as Bill Belechick says, It is what it is…”

So maybe next week I’ll do better. A folksinger like me is like an old fisherman who at least gets to point to next week and think, “Yeah, next week will be better.”

Thanks for stopping by my humble blog. Come by for the real thing sometime.  And bring your guitar 😉 

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