Homecomings are always a little uncomfortable. In August, we were invited to participate in Studio Amped for PBS for the Gulf Coast. We headed to Pensacola in August with friends Jud Harris and Adam Whipple for a one-hour recorded concert with a live studio audience. The audience held so many familiar faces - our siblings and parents, former teachers, friends of our parents, parents of our old friends. Playing Chastain was far less intimidating.
What we most love about playing music is that we're able to be a part of a creative community. Pulling a band together for the first time was a crazy and wonderful experience. We drove out to Knoxville to rehearse once with friend and multi-instrumentalist Adam at a super-sketchy airbnb (this is a story you ought to hear some time) and when we played this song (linked here below) and expressed that we didn't think it was quite coming together, he perfectly summed it up. "You have a jazz tune here," he said to me, "and you have a blues song," he told Stephen, "and they're at war." We love Adam's re-arrangement of this song and now we won't play it any other way. Which stinks, because we don't play keys.
The day of the show was a blur of nerves for us, and we were terrified. We leaned hard on Adam's experience and his giftedness. He's an amazing, sharp musician and a wonderful person and friend. We're so grateful he was foolish enough to let us talk him into coming along. And traveling with a teenager (Jud is a TEENager) was an absolute joy. In the late evening after the show was over, we took a walk along Pensacola Beach, and Jud was dear and hilarious and earnest and made us look forward to hanging out with our own teenagers one day in the very, very distant future. The sand that night was bioluminescent and our footsteps glowed behind us.
I'm so glad we followed through with our "just say yes" plan when I wanted to tell Studio Amped that we really just weren't ready, but thank you so much for thinking of us. We have stolen Chesterton's saying as our family motto. "If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly." (We don't think this is badly done, but if we waited to try until we thought we would do well, we would still be singing only inside of our house. Or maybe not at all.) We learned so much from pulling this show together, and though we can see our many mistakes, our unreadiness, and most of all, our nerves, it was absolutely worth it a million times over.
What else? We played Eddie's Attic here in Atlanta for the first time last week. We've got a show at Senoia Tea & Coffee next weekend (Sunday evening) with a band called Von Strantz. We're heading to Florida for a show at the historic Imogene Theatre in Milton on March 19th (Adam is joining us once again), and then we're planning a show at the REP in Seaside sometime after that. We hope to see you along the way.