Our dates at the Lizard Lounge come around occasionally throughout the year. I always remark to my friends how this room is my favorite to play anywhere. To be truthful, I was bummed when another New Year's Eve date at the LL didn’t materialize this past go around. I was psyched, however, that we got the nod to host this evening in April, and had a personal goal to play at top form.
In recent years I have found myself in this basement lounge venue on many weeknights enjoying some of the more inspirational performances I can remember seeing. Session Americana residencies have been the highlight of my Lizard experiences. Over the years these guys have really opened my eyes to what being a performer should be. Their forte is bare bones acoustic playing, and there is little to mask the raw performance of each individual. When I am playing, I try to stay mindful of the spirit of their style and what makes their music so high-impact. When done right, you feel what the performer is feeling… a pure emotion is conveyed and something strong goes through your body when you witness it. Those jolts to your conscience stay with you, and you can relive the way you felt to some degree. It’s like something you now own because you experienced it.
This past Friday night it was our time to work it out on the rugs of the Lizard. Sometimes my expectations for an epic set in this room are never quite met. I feel let down in retrospect, but this time was different. Halfway through our long set, Adam and his friend Alicia Benjamin joined us and we dropped some groove numbers that felt perfect. Affirmation from the full-house crowd made the vibe of this Friday night complete. The rest of the set soared with full-on energy, and the show closed with a bunch of smiles and shiny faces surrounding us. We had done the room right!
On the horizon, we are about to play a small marathon run of shows all around the country. It is really a luxury to be able to hit the road and only worry about getting to gigs, playing music and having fun for a while. When your objective is so focused, you can really refine what you are doing. Our material takes leaps forward, and we are better on the other end as a result. I can’t wait to be with my friends playing our music to people I have never met, and otherwise wouldn’t have if I had never picked up a guitar when I was little. To quote Frank Zappa - “Playing guitar is like fucking - you never forget it... unless you're really, really stupid.”