The other day, I went sailing in a rain storm out on the pacific ocean and, as I stood at the bow, swaying to the swell of the sea and change of wind, staring at the dark and ominous horizon I was, at the core of my being… happy.
While I was in no real danger, under the care and steady hand of captain Robert and his crew of rain drenched middle aged sailors, there was that thrill of being at the mercy of the great unknown… of not being in control of my destiny… and the strange sense of belonging to the uncharted, the unexplained, the enduring mystery of all things. The few hours out there on the waters were like a thousand elsewhere.
I experience a similar joy when performing to an unknown audience. I am, if you will, at its mercy, and if I do not treat this wave of humanity with love and respect I may well drown in my own selfish musicality. To bare your soul before strangers, to be transparent yet passionate, real yet poetic, a man of the people and yet remain true to yourself… is a challenge for sure. Every night is an unpredictable adventure of its own… a test for both the character and the soul, fraught with pain, rejection, disappointment, acceptance and discovery, at times heart breaking, sometimes joyous… always glorious.
Most singers of the good news rarely experience any of this, preferring to perform in the safer harbor of the local Church. But let me tell you, a few hours performing to a ‘yet to be known’ audience… is more satisfying than singing to the choir for well…. a thousand years.
Earlier this year, a stripped down version of Rhythm Gospel & Blues performed with Dan Hannaford and Isaac Frankham in Australia, the highlight being this gig at The Rails, where we had a kind of Church service in an old country pub in Byron Bay.
Thanks for the continued support in this shared unknown adventure of Rhythm Gospel & Blues.