Thursday, May 30, 2013

On The Road Again.....

As a song writer mate said to me on the weekend, "Sometimes life gets in the way/" In my case, this has meant packing up a house, a couple gigs falling through and a second job.

I once read that when you finally decide to change tack and walk a path that seems truer to your inclinations, a test appears that beckons distraction and u-turns. I guess, if you believe that stuff, road blocks and detours do seem to appear. But, I reckon that we create them ourselves because most of the time we're just shit scared of what's up ahead. And, the rest of the time, we're sitting on the side of the road having a little rest and a play. Maybe we stop at the local cafe or pub for a drink and we make some new friends who tell us about a job that we should take and then suggest we move in next door and before you know it, time has marched on and the road becomes less travelled.

Last Saturday night, I took a new road to a party at a friend's house. I had to drive out to Woodend and then take back roads through giant forests and rolling hills to end up in a place called Spring Hill. This friend of mine is a song writer of some note. She has a radiant smile and sings of hopefulness and light. I didn't know who would be at the party and almost didn't go because I secretly (not anymore) suffer from social anxiety. So, walking into a room full of strangers by myself is enough to send me diving for a paper bag to stop from hyperventilating. But, being an experienced social-phobe, I also know the antidote is to show up without expectation and have an exit plan if things go awry.

So, I arrived in the dark, parked in the paddock and made my way to the front door. First person I saw was a song writing mate who maybe one of the best folk writers in the country, sitting at the food laden table. Then I shook hands with a fiddle player who suggested we go and play some songs, immediately. I said hello to some well known Malmsbury musos(I know I'm giving hints and no names but I didn't ask them if I could write about them so you'll just have to guess who they are) on the way through to the music room, who was speaking with my mate Luke, who plays on the "West Brunswick" album.  When I learned Luke's partner Cass was there as well, I knew this was going to be a great night. Then I turned around and another lovely song writer appeared and another and another. The whole place was wall to wall song writers and musicians, and I knew most of them.

Well bloody hallelujah I said to myself. Guess that dirty old road has brought me home. The night was spent passing round new songs and old favourites, sharing stories, exchanging ideas, and talking about that silly old road out there and where it might take us next.

My experience of the party confirmed that although "life" can get in the way when we put down the guitar and stop off for a piss that turns into a picnic which turns into a camping holiday which turns into a sort of stop gap life, you can still see the road from your makeshift house. Sometimes, it just takes an invitation to a party to get you on the musical track again.

My only suggestion is that when you leave the party at 2.30 in the morning, you drive like a grandma so that when you hit the kangaroo that hops out in front of you without warning, you only hit it at about 5km's an hour. In which case, no harm will befall either you or the 'roo.

Oh, and here's some fine song writers for you to listen to on the road:






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