Every musician has that moment. Some musicians are lucky enough to have that moment every time they get on stage. It’s the moment when you realize why you do it, why you get up in front of people and bare your soul. That moment happened for me this weekend for the second time in recent months at the Thought Lot in Shippensburg, PA.
From start to finish, booking to last song, everyone was firing on all cylinders. It’s great dealing with promoters that are just as invested in the show as the artist, and boy does it ever show! Michael Nawa, Tony Diehl, and FCLM are all class acts and really have a good thing going up in that town. If you haven’t taken in a show at the Thought Lot you are doing yourself a disservice. Once a DIY haven for artists and touring punk acts, the venue is now on its way to being sophisticated enough to host any national act… great sound, great lights and great people. Mr. Diehl said “Before they were an art studio with a music problem, and now they are a music venue with an art problem.” Both problems are good problems to have in my opinion.
This being my first show in Shippensburg, I really didn’t know what to expect. The things I knew: Strung Tight is awesome, so Strung Tight+ was bound to please and Megan Jean has one of the most powerful voices I’ve had the pleasure to experience in person. I’ve been playing music with Eric and Kate now for years and their will and determination to create pushes me to grow and create. As well, Megan Jean and the KFB tore the house down. My favorite moment of the night was when she stepped out from the mic to sing a bar or two of music and just allow her voice to fill up the room without the adulteration of amplifiers and EQs, just pure air moving across the room and into my ears.
And then there was my band (minus one very important bass player)… If you haven’t seen me play music with Caleb and Melody, I would encourage you to come out to our next show. Those guys really know how to fill out a song in a way I’ve previously only dreamt. I’ve been a one man show for the better part of five or six years now, and I’ve been really reticent to bring people into fold. Everybody knows that working with people, in either a real day job or a band, can be a bummer sometimes. With a band, the potential to be awful is doubled: artists are finicky people and bands are dysfunctional relationships with finicky people, but I digress. These new collaborators have revived my creative soul, and I’m very excited to be going into the studio for this album that is due in early spring 2015!
I’ll leave you with a few things: first, Bob Keel and Friends are playing a show at Ski Liberty this coming Friday January 23 and then we’re staying the night to go skiing the next day. I’d love for all of you to come join us! Watching me try to ski is going to be a hoot! Second is the question of the day; what do you wish your favorite local music venue would do to make the listening experience better for the audience? Third, here’s a little video that Eric Avey took from the Thought Lot and a little taste of what you will hear Friday night at Ski Liberty!
Thanks for reading, I love most of you, and create…be it art or love!