“You and Michael created something deep and magical, as you always do. The audience is so engaged. A really wonderful night of art and community. Two great tastes that taste great together! Everybody is happy! Yay! Thanks for doing what you do. It makes life better.”
THAT GIRL! On the virtue of voice, venue and the value of self-acceptance. We have a warm sun today! Nature is shining a light on the good, as she is wont to do. And we need it here in Chicago.
Here’s a footnote from me about being in the public eye. About self-assessment and artistic scrutiny. When I sang a gig Saturday in Chicago (accompanied by Michael Smith and bass player Al Ehrich), I knew I’d prepared. I was kind of calm. The sound mix was good. The musicians were with me. The tempos were even. I felt supported.
I feared maybe, at nearly 60 years old, I could no longer render the material with the ease of the past. Not so. My high notes hung soft in the air, wending their way through familiar terrain, completing phrases I’d performed hundreds of times before. The roomful of people stayed in it. With us. And so I trusted my voice.
You see, the last concert I did in December was on the heels of laryngitis. Not appropriate to tell the radio audience I was ill, (lest you are seen as less-than,) my daughters buoyed me by singing sweet harmonies, and their presence and solid performances made it work. I was humbled and disappointed by the concert. I longed for another chance.
The heart of a singer is a tender thing. I don’t mean the fierce, trained vocalist who makes an appearance with all its chops and technique and musical pedigree. I mean the sensitive spirit who hummed along to children’s rhymes, and held her own in family gatherings. The one who feels pure joy singing an aria or an art-song. That girl!
A quivering bird just longing to fly. There’s a shy side of me that is not always “fit for public consumption.” She is reticent to seek applause. Reviews herself with critical scrutiny. To bring the open-hearted Jamie out is a kind of act of bravery. Every once in a while I get the right combination of good vibes, good folks, and good voice.
Reliving the stories I told, singing the songs of my life, playing with the great Michael Smith. I had that last Saturday. Today, the lark soars in the clear air, her song filling the air with promise of spring. Alleluia!