Today I did something I haven’t done in over three years and that was to play a full on solo acoustic set. For the last three years I have become so dependant and reliant upon my bandmates in Collins Drive. Even thought I rehearse and write by myself, it has been quite a while since I actually performed live solo. The annual Oakhurst Porchfest rolled around this weekend. Collins Drive was going to perform but Allison (bassist) had a gig with her other awesome band, Pale Clear, at Pride Fest today. As a band, we decided that I should just play it solo to stay in good standing with the festival knowing that we’ll probably play it again next year.
I didn’t do a whole lot of prepping for the show. At first I was like, you know, I’ll put together a setlist and all this but then I figured that I would just make this a really fun experience. I didn’t want to have an order or anything so what I decided to to do was to just compile a list of songs that I haven’t played in a long time and just print out the lyrics and put the in a book. My plan was for when I got there, I would just opened the book and just started playing songs.
The porch I was playing at was a really cute porch. The host and her family were awesome and they even had a really cute sign that they made out of their child’s easel. As I got set up and prepared myself, I noticed people staring t make their way to the yard. Lots of familiar faces. I saw my awesome neighbors (4th ave representing), my buddy Jacob and his lovely lady, Julia, and a few passerbys all made their way to the yard to hang out and watch me play. I just opened up my lyric book and the first song in the book was “the Rain.” I couldn’t remember the last time I had played this song and it made me so happy to play this one. The weather was perfect but I should’ve planned better because it was so windy that it was blowing my hair all over the place and while and right when i went to take my harmonica solo, the hair blew right into my mouth making it virtually impossible to get the harmonica notes out. Needless to say, I jettisoned the harmonica for the rest of the set.
Over all the ivbe was really great. There was such a good energy and everyone really seemed to be enjoying it. There were a lot of smiles, people just taking in the awesome weather and allowing me to be the soundtrack for their day out. Getting to play some older songs like, “Wish For Rain”, “Why I Sing About the Rain” and even my cover the Grateful Dead’s “Black Muddy River” was a lot of fun. Some of the songs sounded a bit rusty but it was just fun to play show that was so off the cuff and improved. “I Listen to NPR” was also a fun one that had everyone laughing. This was definitely my Arlo Guthrie set and I really enjoyed it.
While this was a great time, it made me realize just how much I miss my band. Having them there to share in the moment and to share the vibes is something that I always cherish in every show. Being myself, I didn’t have that and I missed it. I did however enjoy getting back to where it all began even just for a moment. It made me remember how connected to these songs that I have become over the years, even connected with the ones that I haven’t played with Collins Drive yet. Oakhurst Porchfest was an amazing moment for me. I had a great time. I was surrounded by great people, lots of smiles, good beer, and gorgeous weather. It was a really great place for me to be and a place that I can’t wait to re-visit with my band next year!