Always do what you love...

Last night I played my very first house concert, outdoors at a beautiful house by the ocean.  And for some reason still unclear to me, I set an all-time record; four hours and eight minutes, non-stop with no breaks. It was a solo gig, so there was no kicking it to anybody else; no trading-off solos, or eight-bar drum intros or anything, just me, three acoustic guitars, and pretty much every song I ever wrote and some I’ve never played live.

I started at 8pm and suddenly I looked at the clock and it was 11, and I hadn’t even stopped to partake in the gorgeous dinner they served. Local ordinances (and courtesy for one’s neighbors) dictated that we wrap it up by 11, but the audience included the neighbors as well as the local police. They challenged me to make it to midnight, and I just instinctively said “sure”, which might not have been all that smart. I’d heard that old phrase, “Give the people what they want”, but it never occurred to me that you might not be able to give the people how MUCH they want.

I’ve stood and sung and played for three hours before, so I assumed stamina would be the issue, not running out of material. But I had a blast, pulling out old songs, trying some new ones, and throwing in some cover tunes for fun. It was an education for me in every way; not just musical survival, but holding an audience for that long. I’m still not exactly sure how that happened. At the end of the night the host graciously doubled the money, which didn’t hurt either. That’ll cover any necessary medical attention to my fingers!

I had such a great time hanging out with everyone afterward that I didn’t leave until 2:30am, and I was so amped up over the experience that I just stayed up with the laptop in the van, doing some listening and touch-ups on the new record. I’ve been typing this while parked by a church in the town square as the sun comes up over the ocean, and the tolling of the bell and the well-dressed people showing up remind me that it’s Sunday.

So I remind YOU – always do what you love!