So I just got home (02:00) from an appearance at an open mic in the town of Jegun in the Gers (32), almost an hour from where we live. I am working up to a solo set I’ll be doing outdoors for probably close to 200 not very sophisticated (musically or otherwise) Frenchmen in late May. Things were a bit rocky on the first number, the Leadbelly song “Alabama Bound,” but I settled down after that and actually had some fun, did a little bit of hamming it up (for me), which meant closing my eyes to show that I was soulful and into it. But the gratifying thing was, the small crowd did appreciate the fact that they were listening to a real musician, I got a lot of compliments, the owner of the bar approached my wife to get my “coordinates” and offered me a gig over the summer, people were clapping and snapping their fingers when I was playing one of my own songs, called “Stay Cool.” I am now playing my new jazz guitar almost exclusively, and I go through a fancy Boss effects pedal, so I was playing this song with a wah-pedal effect, used famously by Jimi Hendrix. This is all pretty new to me, before we moved to France I did not really play electric guitar much. In fact, I did not have the energy to play much at all for many years, I was too busy earning a living. Another gratifying thing is that, usually when I play in public, it is the other musicians who most appreciate what I do.
It’s pretty clear now that if I can just conquer my lifelong stagefright, more or less, I could probably play professionally in France. So I am thinking that I might make it a goal to do a certain number of gigs in the summer of 2013. I’d like eventually to get some gigs in the big cities nearby, Bordeaux and Toulouse, maybe try to get into the jazz scenes there (but I am still a few years of woodshedding away from that).
Here is the “problem.” I don’t know whether to go down the musical rabbit hole and to really go for it, I could spend all of my time just doing that, but there are also things that I am supposed to be writing, a novel I started years ago, various nonfiction projects. I guess I need to set aside time for writing and make sure that I do it. The music thing is more immediately gratifying, it’s more fun.
I plan to appear publicly under the stagename BlueZach. Remember, you heard it here first. I think I’ll also plan tentatively to put out a CD by the end of 2013.
I gave a little bit of money to the Democrats today, too. I was holding my nose, but I remember when people whom I respect were saying that George Bush II was a moderate.