Do it for fun

Last weekend I went to Memphis for a couple of days to play music with friends for fun.

Wacky, right?

I spent a good deal of time jamming and visiting with the members of Grasping Thin Air, a band full of talented people I like, most of whom I’ve known for years, who are also pretty much in it for fun.

Grasping Thin Air Rehearsal

GTA’s guitarist, my friend J. (who fed and housed me like royalty for the weekend), was particularly thrilled to get to press play on the live-action jukebox that was me.  He’s known me since well before I struck out on my own as a performer, which means that he knows songs I haven’t touched in ages.  Naturally, those were the ones he asked to hear.

I’m pleased to say I was glad to find that I still know how to play them, and I didn’t lose track of the lyrics any more than I do with my newer songs.  In the course of eight hours, I got to revisit “Face-down“, “Baba Yaga“,”Stickit“, “Tori Day“, and even “Shake”, none of which I can recall having on a setlist this decade.  And it was so much fun.

I had no idea how much I needed to just sit and sing with friends.  It’s not as if I don’t do so frequently, but this time was particularly nourishing.  Maybe it was getting to hang out again with songs I wrote when I was in my early twenties, and finding out that I still love them, enjoy singing them, and can pull them off just fine.  It just felt good.  It felt a little like hanging out with the girl I was- and finding out, to my joy, that she was still here with me, strong and brave as ever.

So don’t be surprised if, as a result, you hear me pulling out a lot of goodies from Haphazard (2004) and Tangles (2005) at my concerts this year.  I have been given a gift and a reminder: sing what’s fun, sing for you, and don’t discount your early work.  Treasure it and let it out of the treasure chest when it feels right. 🙂

This post is dedicated with love and gratitude to Leif, J., Ashley, and Lauren (and Wilson and the girls, too).