Gosh, my sabbatical hasn't even started, but I'm making progress on my sabbatical goals.
After a long winter in hibernation, finally got on a stage again. I was playing as part of Elizabeth Riley's Travelling Band, even though not all of our members were there. It's a bit of a fluid collective. We went to The Old Mill at Ashton, which has an open mic on Sunday afternoons except for July and August. I LOVE it there. I feel as comfortable as if I'm in my own living room, which could be partly because of the fact that I used to live in Ashton, and partly because of the fact that when I was four I got up and sang "Oh Sinner Man" there (backed up by my dad's band, The Jock River Boys).
The credit for the lovely atmosphere actually goes to Jaan, who hosts the open mic every week. He's a lovely and gracious man. We prepared four songs and were told while we were up there that we could do five, so we finished with "I'll Fly Away". (The first four songs were: Redemption Day, Young Women to Old, Running on Empty, When it Comes my Turn.)
Who is "we"? On this occasion, me, Patricia Reynolds and Carmel Whittle. Mike Barker and Sarah Ryan were travelling and couldn't come. But I'm hoping we can all gather this weekend for a practice and set some performance goals for the summer and maybe even the fall.
Had a recording session the previous week with Carmel. We've recorded practices before, but this was the first time I was planfully recording tracks so that other people could record their parts in a separate session. It is really, really different from just sitting around playing for fun or even more focused group rehearsal. It has pros and cons. The pros include being able to focus on only one task at a time and do a really good job, e.g. just do the guitar, don't worry about the words, then just sing and don't worry about playing well at the same time. The cons include having to kind of hype myself up a bit more to perform well - not having the buzz of fellow performers or an audience to respond to. We've got another session this week. I'm looking forward to it!