Writing from the road again. This morning I am in Northampton, MA at my friend Carrie Ferguson‘s house. She’s a wonderful soul and songwriter. I fell in love with her songwriting at NERFA in 2012. Her song “Paris” is an aching ode, mourning the obsession that often overtakes the mind when your lover leaves you. The first time I heard her sing it, I was hooked.
We became quick friends that weekend.
Last night, we played a show together in Becket, MA at a wonderful gem of a place called The Dream Away Lodge. We swapped five-song sets all night. Attentive crowd, snapping fireplace, glowing smiles, full bellies, beaming hearts.
I tried out a brand new song last night. “Like You’re Already Gone.” It’s dark and it’s heavy. The moment that I strummed that last E7 and the applause came, a man said, “Wow, is that your song?” I told him it was.
It really got to him.
Two nights ago, Shawn, Davy and I saw The Stray Birds in Portland. Incredible night of music. For me, my love for them began the first time I ever heard their “Dream In Blue”.
What is it about a song? The emotional power of just a few chords, a melody and, sometimes, some words; an instrument in the hands of a performer; voices echoing; vibrations rising in the air; ears, minds and hearts to receive it. All of it remnants of stars reuniting.
All of us singers and songwriters are after that special bit of stardust. Joni sang about it this way: “The lights go down / And it’s just you up there / Getting them to feel like that.”
Carrie and I captured a little bit of that tonight. Tonight, we’ll go after it again in Portland, ME, then tomorrow night in Portsmouth, NH.
Then.. in the intervals between gigs, I’m sure we’ll each, in our own way, seek to capture that lightning bug in the jars of our hearts, kindle the flame long enough to set another heart ablaze in another room somewhere, sometime.
I love my job.