reports of my demise have been greatly….uh….

now playing: sarah shannon, “i’ll run away”

so i guess…i just process information differently than most people do.

when i have something on my plate that’s potentially important, potentially life-changing, potentially could-impact-people-i-love-type stuff on my plate, i completely internalize it.

well, maybe not completely, but i internalize the majority of it.

i thought about talking to the kids about it on tuesday night, but i lost my nerve. i thought it’d probably be best to keep my mouth shut until i was ready to make a decision, one way or the other. why get them worked up about it if it wasn’t going to come to fruition, after all? they have enough stress in their lives.

the only person i really talked to about it at length was charlie, mainly because of his potential involvement with the decision, and his degree of familiarity with what i’d be doing, since he’s gone through it already, although his means of doing this and mine would be considerably different….

but that’s it, really. maryann here at work knows, but only because she’s been privvy to the flurry of phone calls that have transpired in the last week or so.

and i dared not mention it here, because people i love read these pages on a regular basis, and i hadn’t really processed the information yet.

i’m still not sure i have. i mean, i think i’ve made a decision, but i could probably be swayed, even now, if the situation were made attractive enough.

i guess i should stop beating around the bush and spill my guts.

an opportunity has become available for a road gig with an up-and-coming country singer in nashville who is looking for a pro guitar player to join his band. i’ve been exchanging emails for a week with his musical director, talking about the situation and exchanging information and questions…and the stuff that he does would be right up my alley, in terms of what his music is like and what i enjoy playing. they tour regularly – on his website, i saw dates in oklahoma city OK, albuquerque NM, indianapolis IN, franklin OH, louisville KY, and several cities in TN & AL within the space of a pretty short framework, itinerary-wise…there are still enough “gaps”, though, that i’d probably still have to hold down a day gig in order to remain afloat…with my overhead costs being what they are.

there’s enough irony to choke on in the fact that when an opportunity like this comes my way, it’s with a country band. who woulda thunkit?

for those who need some background, i’m originally from tennessee – born and raised in a podunk farming town almost right on the tenn/ala border on the banks of the tennessee river called savannah. i actually went to high school with a guy named darryl worley who’s having some success as a country act right now. i grew up listening to guys like dan fogelberg and jackson browne and crosby stills and nash and jim croce and the like – so what ultimately became my songwriting voice echoed those guys considerably – i thought. what i found out, years later, as i found my feet and started writing songs seriously and making inroads as a singer and songwriter was that i was pretty much the only person who had this perception, outside of a handful of contemporaries – most people thought of me as a country singer. to this day, i still don’t get it. but it didn’t take me long to start resenting it.

i resented it not out of disrespect for country music – but what i was doing didn’t have much in common with country music at all, to my ears. granted, country music of the last decade and a half doesn’t bear much resemblance to what i consider to be “country” music, but i still didn’t see the connection. still don’t, for that matter.

as time went by, though, i made a few trips to nashville during my road years – and some pretty serious internal myths i had harbored for some time were shattered. one of them was that every bartender and plumber in town was an amazing songwriter, scratching and clawing to get their song to someone and make their own break. what i found to be the case was that there were an awful lot of hacks in nashville, just like here at home. in fact, i remember doing a songwriter’s circle at a place called big river at 2nd and broadway, right across the street from the nashville hard rock cafe – after our round was over, i took a walk up the street, up towards gruhn’s guitar shop, and taking in some of the folks who were playing at various places up and down the strip…there was a girl playing in the gibson cafe who was just awful…beautiful, but awful. then, on the other side of the street, there was a guy playing in a storefront window with his back to the street…but his PA was plugged into a speaker hanging just underneath the door, broadcasting his awfulness to the unsuspecting public…a 12-bar blues tune with three words – “big boss man……..big boss man……..big boss man……big boss man…..big boss man……big boss man…..”

after about the thirteenth one, i moved along.

still, the thought of living in nashville was off-limits to me, because all i wanted was to be john gorka – to be identified with folk music moreso than country music, to have a decent sized, loyal following that would allow me to make a record on occasion and tour as much as i could for as long as i could. i wanted to be Northampton, not Nashville. but alas, it was not to be. and for me, moving to nashville and trying to have something resembling a career as an artist or a songwriter felt like conceding defeat in some perverted way. plus, i had a bit of a chip on my shoulder concerning country music once i got an up-close look at the songwriters’ hierarchy and how the machinery worked. (more on that some other, more relevant time.)

so now, this opportunity is opening up, and this dialogue has been taking place, and i have to decide whether or not i want to go down and audition. this could be happening as early as next week, should i decide to go.

i’ve been doing all kinds of research on the internet this week. for instance, the average rental price in nashville is $30 less than what i pay now. average income is roughly the same, i know my way around the city somewhat, and i have people there that i know. in terms of picking up and moving that far away on a whim, i could do this in relatively good shape, but there are other issues involved. two other issues, specifically, that complicate matters quite a bit. there are decisions to be made with regard to whether or not they’d be summer kids or how that’d be danced around with their mom. jayda would be an especially tough negotiation, because i couldn’t see her wanting to be there through school or for the summer, because she’s so engrained into her social fabric here. dylan, on the other hand, would probably welcome the opportunity to get the hell outta here.

but this is all supposition on my part, of course, because i haven’t said a word about any of this to them.

but over the course of the last couple of days, i think i may very well have talked myself out of it. and i’m not even sure why.

these are the things that can make you crazy…trying to tell the difference between intuition and fear. this is one of those times when i just can’t tell the difference. i don’t know if i’m afraid of change or if there’s some reason that i’m not consciously aware of that is keeping me from throwing out a ton of my shit, packing my bags, and calling the movers to come get me the hell outta here.

i dunno, man. i started thinking about this post this morning, and it’s almost 4 o’clock now. that probably means something….

but i’m not sure what….yet.

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