Tag Archives: Artist

Live performances

So a couple of Friday nights ago I played a show at a local coffee shop called Cafe Bella.
Its a great little place that is built on community, arts, atmosphere and a drink and food menu that is out of this world.

They have a different band or musician come in every Friday night. They put together a flyer and post it up on their Social Media sites. They tag you in the post and wah-lah, you have a great way to help spread the word about your show.

First, let me start by saying that a guy with his guitar and a looper, and a few effects pedals can really generate some energy during a performance.
Confession time: I was really nervous going into this as it was kinda my first “real show” in a long time. I have played for benefit concerts, dinners, art shows, and various other events, but this was different. People were there to hear some music and watch a performance.
Now this is the trick to the thinking that I am getting at here: they weren’t necessarily there to see me, but a show, a performance. So that was part of my thinking going into this, yes, some of my friends were there and I am super appreciative of their support and I really love seeing people I know and respect in the crowd. It helps to put me at ease a bit, but the thing that got me thinking was there were going to be people I didn’t know. They didn’t know my songs, they have never heard of me.
They were coming because… well maybe their are too many reasons to list here and not bore you to death, but needless to say, they weren’t there for me! That began to freak me out, what if I make a bunch of mistakes? What if I play the song too fast? What if?….

Wait a minute here….. I said to myself.

Then it dawned on me as I was watching people walk in, I thought to myself, “yeah, what if? they have never heard my songs before, for all they know, any mistake I make could just be part of the song.” Especially if I don’t have a sour reaction when a mistake occurs. That is part of being a professional,

Just smile…..

I won’t go into those details now, but that really helped calm me down.
Then I just told myself, these are my freaking songs and I own them. I am suppose to be having fun while playing these, otherwise why did I agree to do this in the first place? Right?

All in all, I had a blast, the crowd seemed to really enjoy the evening. We shared some laughs and I got to share a lot of my-self to them through these songs.

Its experiences like these that remind me why I got into the music busness in the first place! What a joy it has been!

So thanks to those of you that showed up and thanks to Cafe Bella for creating an environment like this to promote the local art and music scene.

Until next time :

Be Well!

Jonathan

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Album update and Random info

Hey everybody!!!

 I hope that you can forgive my absence of communication as of late, but I have been busy with some good things too!
For those of you who read my last post about finishing things, you can read that here, I would like to update all of you on the progress that has been made.
First off, I gave myself a public deadline of finishing one song per month. That was in January that I posted it. Well, the really great news is that I am ahead of schedule. In fact I have 6 songs recorded and am working on 4 more. I should have those done within the next two months.
Artwork: well, my friend Michael who owns MichaelEllis Art (click the link to check his stuff out, it rocks!) and I have struck a deal and have been corresponding back and forth. As it were, he has delivered the first sketches about two weeks ago. I was blown away by them. They were better than I could have imagined. It just goes to show you that some things are best farmed out. His artistic expression is way better than anything I could have come up with. Plus, producing all of this myself, I feel like its better to have a professional artist intrepret my creativity.
I can’t hide behind a wall of excuses anymore and my hope is with all of this is that you guys will help keep me accountable. So far so good! Some of you have checked up on me and have asked me hard questions. I really appreciate that!
I can’t share to many details about art or song previews, but I am really excited about this. I may give snibbits here and there, but for now, its Top Secret!
In the mean time, I did release a song with a friend of mine Matt from the band SatelliteReBoot. Click the link on his name to check out his other stuff as well. You can listen to the song we collaborated on here!
I really enjoyed working with him and he was such a catalyst for me to get my rear end moving on my goals of releasing music.
That is all for now. Stay tuned for more updates in the coming weeks!
Be well!
Jonathan

The News of Another Son

This song title came from the fears, excitement, joys and hopes that come from expecting a second child. In some ways, I am not as freaked out about what is coming, but in other ways, I have no idea what to expect. This particular song was written as I thought about the joy of what is coming.

    I am so stoked that we are having another boy. Truth be told, I was really hoping for a velociraptor, but a boy works too! Hahaha! My wife on the other hand was hoping for a girl, but we knew that we would not be disappointed either way. As we were watching this little guy on the monitor at the Dr’s office, I was just amazed that we could really see this little guy moving around and all of his different parts. Which I have to tell you, one of the first things we saw was his “boyish” features. We both new right away before the technician told us that we were having a boy. Just the fact that we can see this human moving around inside the womb of mommy is pretty incredible. I mean think about it, this lil dude is swimming around right now and we have the ability to watch him do what he does in there. We could see his lungs moving, his blood flow, his heart beat, his hands move and toes wiggle. Just incredible!
    To be a father is kinda scary, but it is the biggest blessing and I can’t imagine life without out my son. Don’t get me wrong, parenting has its challenges, but to watch them grow and figure things out is just amazing. Every day they learn new things, say new things, and do new things. I anticipate that there will be much laughter in our house with the interaction of our first son and his little brother.
    This song is really written from my anticipation of watching this little guy grow up. To see what he will do to test things, how he will learn things, and those really amazing sounds that newborns make, like the shrieks of pterodactyls flying in the sky, or the joyous smiles that have not been tainted from the outside world. I have absolutely no idea what this little guy will be like, but I know that no matter what, I will love him more than I could ever explain. So as I process the reality that we are about to have another child, I can’t help but be overwhelmed with a unexplainable joy for the arrival of this little guy. This is a glimpse into the inspiration of this song.

Mistakes

Mistakes….

So, I haven’t been around a long time, but I have played with some really amazing musicians and bands. Or at least I think they are. Song writers, to folk bands, and even gospel choirs. What we all have in common is our capacity to make mistakes.  No one is immune!
Let me start this off by painting a picture for you. I was leading worship at church a little over a year ago. It was just me and my guitar and a back-up vocalist. I started the worship service, thinking that it would be really cool to start the song out acapella and then come in strumming hard. Yeah, well, that didn’t go so well, I started the song in the wrong key and it got all messed up. We quickly got back on track, but I was less than thrilled to start the sercive out like that. Then halfway through the second song, I got a bit lost and started hitting the wrong chords all together. I got so lost that I had to stop the song all together. I spoke into the microphone, and laughing, said, “well, this is just a perfect reminder of how imperfect we are”. Oh, it was a mess! We just started the song over. But after that, I was completely loosened up and the rest of the service went pretty smoothly.
This might sound weird, but I think Mistakes are good! Im going to say that again,  MISTAKES ARE GOOD! Here’s why:
 I am not saying that we shouldn’t take the time required to prepare, rehearse, practice and polish our chops. But what I am saying is, don’t let a mistake stop you from doing what you enjoy and love to do. It’s easy to get really down on yourself and be tempted to quit altogether when you make a mistake, but that in itself would be a BIG mistake! Here’s what I mean:
  If mistakes don’t happen, then you can’t get better.  We learn from how we mess up.
Who reading this is perfect?………. Oh thats right, none of us are…
Here’s a challenge for us both:  What if, one person in the audience saw your performance, watched you mess up one song so bad that you had to stop and start it over again? What if they needed to see that to be reminded that we all mess up? What if one person is encouraged by that one indication of your humanity?
Again, I have to emphasize that we SHOULD practice, prepare, rehearse, etc. However, even when we practice till we are blue in the face, some days are really good and everything clicks, but some days are really brutal. In music, as in life, accept it, reflect on it, but then move on!
 I say this as much to myself as to you:  Mistakes are not defeats!
    They are fantastic tools to push you to better things.
I can say, that I have seen some pretty bad performances, and have listened to some really bad recordings and songs. But, I will say this, I respect the person who gets up after a defeat(mistake), collects his or her thoughts, rethinks his or her approach, spends some more time working things out and tries again.  It reveals character and perseverance.
Yes, our egos might be bruised after big mistakes, but we really need to learn to drop our pride and let people see our imperfect and real selves. In my experience, you can actually have a deeper connection with a musician (or vice versa, with a  fan) when your imperfection has not been covered up and hidden away.
I hope that this helps you, and maybe gets the creative juices flowing again.
As always, Thank you for taking the time to read this and be a part of this!
How have you used mistakes to help you or to grow your art in some way?  I would love to hear your stories!