Attentive faces. Shoulders slouched back. Maybe a rocking body or tapping foot.
Shrouded in darkness, light illuminates cheeks and eyes.
And it’s just like the way I practiced, singing to the pictures of families and friends on the mantel, only now, as I sing, there is the stillness of attention, followed by sustained applause that feels — who am I kidding, it’s the only interpretation I can believe — genuine.
No, it wasn’t perfect at the 5th Annual Shoreline Acoustic Music Festival Friday night.
In fact, my Ovation crapped out and when even a new battery didn’t help, I found myself banging the guitar accidentally into the microphone placed in front of the sound hole. I made a face, and a friend in the audience saw it, too, and smiled back.
But fellow songwriter Mike Bailey said something sweet after: “Your voice was spot on. You seemed relaxed.”
Maybe it’s these daily walks, the daily draughts from the Book of Awakening written by cancer survivor Mark Nepo, I don’t know. I like it up there. I like looking at people as I sing, watching them fidget and gyrate or, more often, watching them sit in that slouched, relaxed posture of attentiveness.
I like singing to you, people.
And I like being heard.
It’s the ultimate dose of self-indulgence, informed by the sincere belief that I have something to say.
I came home and turned on PBS to find a folksy concert in progress, and a singer playing to a packed audience.
As an Indie artist with competing interests and obligations, I haven’t been able to get out much, though I’ve played packed hoots and a CD release party populated by dear friends. The packed houses of strangers, well, that’s not so easy to come by.
And still I do it. Because of the way I feel up there.