Tonight was a first for me - I did my first round concert!
For the un-Nashvilled in the crowd, a "round" is a concert when four songwriters sit on stools and play their songs. They start at one end of the group, each playing one song at a time, and round and round they go.
This kind of concert is the norm in Nashville, but very rare here in Toronto. However, our NSAI group has started holding a monthly round, and tonight, I was one of the featured writers!
I was on stage with Laura Ranieri (NSAI-TO co-chair), Jeff Davies (great picker), and Asetha Power (gorgeous voice and a Newfoundlander!). We each did 4 songs each.
I will admit up front that I was wickedly nervous before the show started. It was my very first round, so that brought on a few nerves. And also, it was all my own stuff, which is always a little scarier for me. But the biggest thing: I was doing Christian music in a bar. Who knew how people would react? My greatest fear was that my songs would become the "bathroom break" of the show.
Before the show, I just prayed, asking for the reminder that my music doesn't need to please anyone else in that room. I just wanted to lift my songs up to God, and let Him take care of the rest.
Once the music started, I relaxed and had a great time listening to everyone's songs. I opened with "Infinitely More", and followed with "I Call Out Your Name", with audience improvised harmonies. Next, I did my Christian-drinking-song, "The Wedding at Cana". The choir did this song at our wedding, but it's had a small re-write this year, and it's now good to do as a solo. This one got many smiles and a few giggles.
I ended with the 'premiere' of my "Abide With Me". This song actually got the strongest reaction, inspiring many compliments. I had several people say that their favourite hymn was "Abide With Me", and they just loved what I did with it. (Basically, I've retained part of the original lyric, but created all new melody, chords, and structure.)
Gerald very generously allowed me to borrow his new Taylor T5 for the night, so I definitely had the prettiest guitar on stage. There were many compliments on the guitar itself, but one of the highlights of the evening was the compliment I got on my guitar playing! A gentleman told me he loved the style of picking I did on "Abide With Me". Yes...an actual compliment, not on my voice, but on my playing!!! I got some wonderful comments on my voice and on the songs, but this guitar comment was something special.
In the end, I'm really pleased with tonight. I got to spend time with talented people. I performed beyond my own expectations. And I was able to touch a few people with my songs.
I must slip off to bed soon. Tomorrow is a great day of change for our family...