A couple of weeks of shows

I just haven’t felt like playing live lately. And I’m in the middle of a run of shows. It’s the nature of having to book so far in advance and never being able to count on a steady rhythm of live shows. I fall out of practice or change my focus to writing instead of playing. By the time the shows come around that I booked months earlier, I’m in the wrong gear.

In this case, I’ve just been feeling run-down. Not so much that my day-to-day is affected but when it’s time to play a show, my chest feels heavy and my head feels light and I dread the 40 minutes or so that’s expected of me.

I wish that weren’t the case. I played last week at my friend David Dewese’s music night at Relm Wine Bar in San Diego. I’d been planning to go in with my nylon string guitar and play the softer, sadder set that I’ve been working on. But that was a terrible energy to bring with me. I hope I sounded good but I didn’t feel great about it.

Next week, I’m playing a completely acoustic show (no amps or PA) so I’ve been working on a set with my steel string guitar that I can play a bit louder. The energy of the songs is different for sure but it takes a bit more out of me. I played an open mic on Tuesday of this week to warm up and 3 songs wore me out. I took another gig tonight as a warm up. It’s been difficult to do a complete rehearsal.

I’m not enjoying this. The feeling is somewhere between a panic attack and needing a nap. I’m going to take a break for a while after this run of shows and see how I build up my energy. I recognize this is an awful post to publish ahead of show dates but it’s part of the effort I’m making to write my honest feelings and circumstances as they happen. (And the odds of anyone who reads this seeing me at one of these shows is pretty slim.) Sometimes your heart isn’t playing music.

As David and I set up last week, he looked over the barely-populated wine bar where we’d moved chairs and tables away for a makeshift “stage” area and he said, “This is what we do.”

So it is.