Thursday, February 07, 2008


No, I'm not hunting flounder or frogs. I'm talking about playing music.

I'm pretty sure that I have mentioned that I have started playing with a small jazz quartet. We have a trumpet player, a pianist, a bass player, and me on rhythm guitar. Our style is mostly New Orleans Dixieland style jazz. It has been pretty good fun and I am learning a lot and building a good bit of stamina. The thing that seems to have improved the most so far is my soloing. I am getting a better ear and learning how to hide my mistakes (which are abundant!)

My band, The StillWaters Jazz Band will be playing two gigs in the coming weeks. This Saturday evening we will be playing at Troutman Barbecue somewhere off of Highway 601. (I'll provide details when I have them.) Next Saturday we will be playing Dixie's coffee shop here in China Grove starting about 1:00 in the afternoon. It should be fun.

I think that my favorite tune that we are playing right now is "I've Found A New Baby." The Squirrel Nut Zippers covered it a few years ago and did an awesome job. We have also added a Latin number called "Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White" and that is pretty fun to play. And I love to play the blues. We do "Come Into My Kitchen," "Summertime," and "St. James Infirmary."

Playing in public for non-church folks is really different. Perhaps you may not know that. See, when I play for church, I never really assume that the people are clapping for me. That is totally foreign to my thinking. However, as I have started playing in public, it is weird to have people actually clapping FOR you and enjoying your music and your skill. It is really kind of neat. Not neat enough for me to be packing up for a 6 month international tour - no danger of that - but it is kind of cool to know that people enjoy what you do without having to feel that you must deflect that appreciation towards God.

As I write that, I am perplexed by which attitude is actually wrong. Is it wrong to deflect the appreciation in church or is it wrong to accept the appreciation in public? This is an interesting question. I would certainly appreciate any of your thoughts on this topic. Instead of continuing on with this public rumination, I am going to privately ponder this question. If I have any insight I'll let you know. In the meanwhile, don't be shy about sharing your opinion. I look forward to your thoughts!

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