First, the big concert coming up: I have the extreme privilege of opening for Robin Kessinger and Todd Hallawell on FRIDAY JULY 22nd, 7pm at the Linen Building. Tickets are on sale NOW at BrownPaperTickets.com. This is all-ages, no smoking, no beepers, no espresso machines going off in the middle of the quiet parts -- just some really amazing guitar music in an awesome acoustic venue.
OK, back to the title. So that's not exactly the way the age-old adage goes. Winter's supposed to do that, right? But it seems like every year when that pre-summer period of late May and early June comes around, I find myself immersed in a psychotic swarm of scheduling, travel, gigs, parties, and active (nothing passive about it!) neglect for my lawn. Like all of a sudden the cage door opens up at the other side of the arena, and the big hungry lion trots out, and picks me to be the featured course of his sandy summer buffet. Good thing I'm the cat whisperer...
This year is no exception. In June, I realized that I had checked back into the Nuttsville Motel, and had somehow scheduled 9 gigs in 5 days. NINE. In FIVE DAYS. In FOUR DIFFERENT COUNTIES. ????? Seriously, please, SOMEONE tell me WHAT is WRONG with me?! At the end of 2010, a particularly grueling year of nearly 300 live performances, I made a solemn vow -- er, at least a pinky-swear -- OK, it was one of those quiet whimpers into a pillow before finally catching up on some sleep -- that I would make efforts to avoid such a hectic live schedule.
But huzzah for another well-known colloquialism: "Make hay while the sun shines." Though I'm pretty sure this is now more commonly just a metaphor, it works both literally and figuratively for me. Warm sunny days mean patios in Boise open up for customers that prefer their entrée or beverage with a side of sunshine. Outdoor wedding planners and nervous brides cross their fingers to ward off any mischievous thunderstorms. Gardens and markets are abuzz with as many customers as pollenators. And these events just wouldn't be the same without live music drifting through the summer air. Me and my Honda, we're happily hopping from one outdoor venue to the next, providing the soundtrack to the season. Everywhere from restaurants to wineries to vacation resorts to state parks, you'll find me pluckin' and croonin' for the people passing by.
It's nice to have this volume of "hay-making" gigs at this point of the year, as I hope to begin transitioning into more concert-style shows and fewer casual gigs. My performances recently feel like I've started ascending to that next step, where things feel a little smoother, a bit more effortlessly emotive. I feel like I owe it to those that have been waiting patiently for a chance to sit and listen and enjoy those nuances to develop more shows in which the nuances can be heard, and not filtered through the din of the dining and drinking environment. Don't get me wrong -- I still love playing for the casual crowd as well. I love the challenge of requests from people that either know my range and are genuinely trying to stump me, or those that have never heard me before throwing out something completely unrelated to my standard fare. I love seeing friends pass by on the sidewalk, or strangers stopping to listen on a nearby bench or coming in for a drink and a few tunes. But I also feel more aware of my artistry than ever before, and it's something that is nearly impossible to fully communicate in the casual setting.
This big concert on July 22 is the perfect example. I'm opening for, and performing with, two of the most talented and seasoned guitarists in the nation: Robin Kessinger and Todd Hallawell. DON'T MISS THIS SHOW!! I promise you that you'll see and hear what I'm talking about. I'm playing almost entirely instrumental acoustic guitar for my portion of the show, which has been the focus of my recent recording project. If you're a fan of acoustic guitar music, you simply MUST catch this concert. More info at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/184575