Tuesday, August 12, 2008

the community thing

I happened upon a link for Paste magazines 2006 round-up of 100 great living songwriters, which is a fun read. And painful: there are a lot of folks missing from that list. And it doesn't take into account the large number of local talented folks I know, some truly great, most alive (:))who through the vagaries of fate, may not ever get that much ink. That doesn't mean it's (it being the writing, the figuring out chords at dawn, the taking oddball jobs, the singing in the backyard so as not to disturb housemates and family) an unworthy pursuit...though it can feel that way some times. I've been lucky --I've managed to find writing groups, arts communities, jam, tempoary and formal bands to keep my art spirit alive.
Lately, my big love affair has really been with the folks with whom I've been playing music and my songwriter community in general. For the past couple of years, a loose, ever morphing group of Bay Area songwriters have been convening for dinner and song sharing every couple of weeks. On Friday, five of us filled in the bill for the Red Vic Sessions, most of us also sitting in with one another in some configuration. Monday night, eight of us had one of our extremely grassroots semi-regular meetings. Dinner, prepared by the host, then the scary part: playing a song in front of a bunch of folks who are really listening , with demanding standards and varying tastes (part of what makes this group work is that very different sensibilities are represented, getting to 'what's the heart of this song' whether you like it or not is often as hard as playing). Any performance anxiety I have comes out here most of all. My song was nascent and rough, and as much as I felt like I wasn't quite ready for class, I came away with renewed inspiration for the project and pleased that I know such questing folks.

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