These Days

     I realize it might be a little helter-skelter to go from describing the moment that turned my life down the musical path, to what is going on today, but since I am writing this and you are reading, I get to call the shots. Many life events are afoot bringing about new dynamics and stirring the winds of change. The way things have gone, or been done in the past no longer satisfy or result in the desired outcome. This is also true of my relationship with music. Perhaps it is the “time of life” as I move towards senior citizenship (ugh) as well, that seems to be influencing how I perceive what I do currently and what I would like to be doing more of in the future.

    In 2008 I released my first CD of original music titled “Private Passion”. I felt very satisfied and fulfilled to have completed it. I said I was not attached to how it was received, but the fact that it took 2 years to sell the 250 copies I had made was a real wake up call, though not right away. Even as I spouted all the “no attachment” stuff, I was let down by the response it got and realized that I had higher hopes for it boosting my career than I was willing to admit. I have been analyzing and reevaluating my perceptions and expectations surrounding my music and song writing ever since. Still I kept writing more songs and started recording my second CD during 2010 / 2011 and into this year. I found myself in the midst of the project and my ambition and enthusiasm waning. So, there is much introspection going on as to how to get things back on track. Part of my discontent arises from a nagging feeling that I want to be doing something that has an impact beyond my “little world”. I have always wanted to leave my mark, or legacy. I believe it is part of my purpose in this life and my destiny, if I just open up to allow it to manifest.

     So, now we come to today. My good friend Susan Sassman became director of a place known as The Creative Center of Greensboro earlier this year. While conversing about the significance and impact of all that, she mentioned that she wanted to include music in the creative endeavor happening there.  Not coincidently, another friend, John Paul McNeil and I had been co-writing original music and discussing the possibility of an open mic to showcase local songwriters. The idea was brought up to Susan and presented to the board at the center. Having a songwriter already on the board and many music enthusiasts as well, helped assure the proposal was greeted with unanimous support. In February of this year, the first “Showcase Open Mic” took place at The Creative Center. It was a proud moment for me for I realized that I was beginning a new phase of my music career that was about creating something vital, viable… lasting that promotes other musicians and is good for the community.

      While my life is still structured such that performing gigs (doing other people’s music) remains a big chunk of how I earn my living, I am very happy to be involved in the songwriter’s showcase and am doing all I know to do to make it grow and have it become a signature event in the community. I have laid out my dreams already in another blog as to what my visions for the future are, so I won’t repeat them here. I will just say that I hope Greensboro will someday be known as the place where original songwriters can thrive, prosper and be welcomed, even sought out, by fans here and across the country.

      There are many cities known for the arts and their contributions to them, such as New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta, New Orleans and Nashville, to name a few. There is no reason why this   area cannot become another Mecca for songwriters, or artists of any bent. There are those who know and believe that the creative class of any society is essential to its vitality and its success and longevity.