This past year’s performance hiatus (with the exception of just a few must-do shows at special request of close friends) gave me a much-needed opportunity to focus on evolving my music and upping my skills. I went to Nashville in the spring, and took a performance skills workshop for solo singer-songwriters; it gave me tons of ideas. It also helped me connect with other songwriters, plug into industry associations, and inspire my overall direction. I actually thought that when I saw the other people taking the Nashville course they would be kicking my butt as solo performers – but instead I discovered I’m in very strong stead…Tom Jackson had actually seen my stuff and commended my performance skills and versatility, so that’s not too shabby, being that he’s worked with the best people in the music business (Taylor Swift, The Band Perry, Shawn Mendes). Wohoo!
One of the coolest tricks I picked up from some of the other performers in Nashville was the addition of looper pedal, which I have been doing a lot of practicing with since then. A looper allows you to play a section of song you want repeated, and then it continually loops it until you stop it. When I bought it I was thinking if it as a way to fill solo sections in songs, because you can repeat the chords, and then play a separate lead guitar over top of the chorded background. But I didn’t realize that the looper pedal would be quite an addictive practice tool. You play some cool chords, then off you go, soloing over them fo 20, 30, 40 minutes – until you get bored of those chords and put some different ones in. (Come to think of it, maybe it would be a good creative tool for writing melodies too!) But I’ve kind of realized that you don’t have to be Jimi Hendrix to make a nice lead guitar…you just have to know what key you’re in, and find your way around the fretboard….in fact, taking your time as you run over the chords can be every bit as melodic!
Last year, I decided I didn’t really want to do cover-songs based shows. Sure, I’ll still do a few cover tunes here and there, but just not basing the show on covers – I’m focusing on listening shows and playing original music. And for fun, I’m looking to do a little travel and take my show to new places. I’ve got some means to travel more now, and my last kidlet has left the nest, so my wings are ready to fly, write, and see what kind of shit I can disturb.
As for a next album – I’m thinking of getting back to Nashville in early 2019. Now that I’m a solo act, I want to get a great producer to make my recordings as best as they can be. I have a couple people in mind – and I’ll keep you posted on that. For now, I’m looking for cool venues in new places, or anywhere that wants to hear some fresh songs.
More news coming soon.