I've been asked a couple times in recent weeks about performing solo and songwriting so I thought I would address them.
I like to perform solo, but not enough to have a regular schedule of shows. Between Toyboat and Cheshire Moon and real life (I do have three kids ya'know) I'm a little busy. I don't seek out solo shows. I'm not going to. If someone wanted me to do a solo show, I most likely would, but I don't see that happening.
As for songwriting. In the last 5 years I think I have written 5 songs. A lot of my songwriting was fueled by strong negative emotions, especially the funny stuff. That isn't a part of me now. I'm looking for a different point of view, but it doesn't seem to be coming. I have two funny songs that need a bit of work. One I am going to hand over to a fellow songwriter, to see if he can doctor it up a bit. The other may just fall by the wayside. The others really aren't any good.
As soon as I remember to schedule it, there will be a nifty live version of Pine City Motel Blues up on the Fump (courtesy of the Mahtowa Folks Festival), and maybe the other song mentioned above. I do need a decent recorded version of FPN, I may get that done during the Cheshire Moon sessions. If that happens, it will show up on The Fump as well.
I don't write for Toyboat (except Would You Like To Play A Game). gundo and I were talking about that yesterday. Originally it was so Toyboat wouldn't be thought of as "Eric's band", since I was the best known person in the band. That has changed (except for one funny instance this week). Mike has become the primary lyricist, and usually the person who starts the music. gundo is the arranger, and the other person who starts the music. Raven, Jason and I are the facilitors. Once the basics are done, we all get together and start throwing things around. Having Raven in the band has changed the voice of the band a lot. It's fuller, and in a lot of ways more aggressive.
Between Mike and myself being hurt, Toyboat is, more or less, taking this year off. The new album is getting worked out, hopefully to release at Marcon next year. Mike is recovering. Starting in a couple weeks I go back to work on the drums. We're going to come back stronger.
But, back to the songwriting. More than anything, I don't write for Toyboat because my songwriting has always been a more personal thing than would fit in Toyboat. Game is actually a good example. It is very much about me and what I love. If I come up with anything else like that that is geekish, it will be a Toyboat song.
But words just aren't what I do at the moment. Everything I have to say is being said either with drumsticks or the various stringed instruments I play in Cheshire Moon.
Cheshire Moon. It really is the band I always wanted, but wasn't able to do on my own. Lizzie's magnificent voice and amazing words are something I could have never managed. That means, as a player, I can do the things that I always wanted to. Grander, larger, more cinematic. CM is very much about the imagery. Cheshire Moon satisfies my soul. I dig into my instruments and find myself.
Toyboat is the most fun I could have in a band. In rehearsal, on stage, it's just fun. Especially gundo and I. Watch us onstage. We get to be rockstars, at least in our heads. And the band just keeps getting better. We started as a cover band, and more and more it's about our songs. And it is very much our songs. I, jokingly, referred to us as an autonomous collective in an email this week (that funny instance mentioned above) but it's true. We don't have a leader. And that is a lot of what makes the band so good. Everyone contributes. I can't wait to get my hands back in shape, and back to rehearsal.
So, a morning ramble ... a bit self indulgent.
How are you this morning?