It’s been almost 4 weeks since I’ve last updated you all on how things have been going in Music City. A lot has happened, and yet there’s still a deep-seated restlessness in me to “get on” to the next stage in my career. Here are the for things that have been occupying my time for the last 4 weeks:
I’ve been able to meet with quite a few wonderful musicians around town, including guitarist Mike Payne, bassist Matt Melton, drummer Joe Barrick, and drummer/youtube sensation Harry Miree. I also got a chance to hang out with my friends Steve Grossman and Ben Jackson, both accomplished drummers and wise beyond their years in the ways of Nashville.
Topics have included promoting yourself online, managing schedules (Matt had some amazing insights into creating a sane work/life balance), coffee, life events, and dozens of other subjects. I’m learning a lot.
I’ve also done two auditions for groups, and while I’m getting good feedback, nothing has landed so far. I’m continue to practice like a fool, and hopefully land something before the summer touring season hits.
I’ve been able to read a tremendous amount over the last 4 weeks, finishing Mark Twain’s autobiography, “The World Is Flat”, “Einstein” by Walt Isaacson, “Heaven Is For Real”, “Walden”, Into the Wild” and “The Lincolns”.
I’m currently reading a wonderful book about Galileo (thanks, Kerry!), and Annie Dillard’s free-associating tapestry of literary genius, “For The Time Being”. As I grow older I realize the importance of reading to creativity and personal growth. If you’re not reading/listening to a book right now, I’d strongly encourage you to stop by your local library and pick up a book that looks interesting. It’s worth ten-fold the time it takes to read.
Sarah and I have had a chance to take time off to relax, and this last week we spent a few days on the road, canvasing the midwest to celebrate her birthday. We both love hitting the open highway, and this trip included stops in Metropolis, IL, Cape Girardeau, MO, and a brief stop in St. Louis to see family. We love being together, and she’s been a constant support to me as I try to relax and enjoy this period of rest (as I’ve mentioned before, I struggle when I’m not working like a crazy man).
I joined a gym in early January, and have been hitting the weights 5-6 times a week, getting back into my pre-music career passion for intense weightlifting. It’s been a great way to work off frustrations, and I’m starting to put back on the muscle that had atrophied over the winter touring.
I continue to rehab the foot I broke almost three years ago, and I’m finally back to being able to run several miles without a lot of pain. What a blessing.
I’ve continued to feel frustrated during this slow period of work, feeling like I’m not doing enough, or that I should be doing something more. Even though I knew that I would hit this spot in my transition from St. Louis to Nashville, it still hasn’t softened my struggle to stay hopeful and working hard.
I think Matt Melton had some of the most wonderful words of encouragement for me the other day over coffee. “Try to enjoy this. This is a short period in your life, and soon you’ll be too busy to have this time to relax, and you’ll wish you had it back.” And with that, I look hopefully toward the future, relaxing in His timing and strength.