Letting the audience see my process helps them get in the moment with me and be a part of a shared experience. Music is a way to connect with total strangers. It’s a way to find your tribe hundreds of miles from your home. I really appreciate when someone shares their attention and is open to experience the performance with me. It makes us feel like we’re in it together.
Sometimes after the show, people will share that I reached them or inspired them to create their own music.
I had a tough biker guy once tell me I made him cry. I had written a song called “Ash Wednesday” about a tragic fire that happened in Lakeview Elementary School in 1908. I told that biker guy, “I’m sorry, and you’re welcome.”
During a show, I get caught up in the moment, lost in the music, and I’m part of that place and time where everything floats by. Ideally, I reach a good flow and nothing is going through my head except the music. But it took a lot of work and discipline to get to that space. I used to have intense stage fright. Nerves are proof that I am challenging myself, trying something new and growing as a person.
At the end of a concert, I want audiences to know that they are not alone and that someone understands them. They can do whatever they want to do. — as told to Ken Schneck