Set List and Reflection - Orange, VA, Friday, January 13th, 2017


Here's last night's setlist from the Light Well, Orange, VA. 

Driver 8 is the R.E.M. song, These Days is not. Sylvia Plath is the Peter Laughner song, not the Ryan Adams. That's Entertainment is The Jam. Motel Blues was written by Loudon Wainwright III, but I learned it from the Big StarLive album. All others are Saturday's Radio originals, yep. Big thanks to all who came out, and to all at the wonderful The Light Well for hosting!

Some reflections:

I was kind of nervous about this one. I hadn't played live for six months and I'm sometimes, understandably, rusty when I haven't performed for a while. In addition I acquired a fairly nasty cold over Christmas and I still have the holdover cough. Because of this cough, this wonderful everlasting gift, I haven't been able to practice. Even without trying to sing the vibrations of the guitar against my chest caused me to go into coughing fits. As recently as Wednesday evening I was wondering if I could pull it off. 

But I had a good practice Thursday evening, performed a few songs for my day job co-worker Friday afternoon, and made it though just fine. Come showtime I felt good and relaxed. Several friends came out, which added to my ease. The cough tried to sneak in a few times but I was able to keep it at bay and play, from my view, a pretty good set.

This show served as a reminder to myself that I really love to play live music. All afternoon I felt, well, really good thinking about playing that evening. It was sort of a "life is great!" feeling I haven't experienced since a November trip to Nashville. It's something that I really need to do more often. (If there's anyone reading who can help make that happen, do drop me a line via the contact page.)

Last night was the twentieth anniversary of the release of our album The Truth Hurts. While still I play several songs from the album at every show, I hadn't performed the whole album in sequence for many years (and I wish I could've flown Xeff Scolari in to play the album with me, just like he did at the album release show back in January 1997). Several thoughts came to me as I made my way through the songs. One was that I hadn't realized the harmonica songs were all on the first side, right in a row. More importantly, I got to thinking about the people whom appear, albeit unnamed, in the songs. I recently was reacquainted with the woman from "Sorry Again" over Facebook. She has a family and beautiful children. The "husband who works all the time" from "September Knows" passed away a little over a year ago, while the wife has a new love and is doing her thing in a way that makes me proud of her. I have no idea where the woman from "Promises" and "Listen" is today, or even if she's still alive. I sort of have a hunch that she's not, based on something I'd heard years ago combined with unsuccessful internet searches. I'd realized some years back that I'd written "Somewhere Down the Road" about my parents' divorce, from my father's point of view. Now my parents have both passed on. It occurs to me that a piece of art marks a point in time and that the people who inspire it grow, move on with their own lives, and eventually die. 

Finally, The Truth Hurts marked a turning point in my life. It brought new friends whom I can't imagine living without. It brought experiences that have enriched my life immeasurably. The situations documented within might have been painful, but they gave me songs and a record that I'm pretty proud of. I don't know that I'll ever be able to make another record like The Truth Hurts, but I realize I shouldn't even try. The Truth Hurts is about 1995 and 1996. The job at hand now is to document events, feelings, dreams, and desires of today with a set of songs and recordings I can be proud of twenty years from now, from January 2017.