Life on the road as an independent solo singer-songwriter, warts and all.

8th November 2010

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Day 5: Reunion

In the past four years I have probably played close to 500 gigs. Out of these, probably 50 or fewer were with a band. I generally tour solo for one reason: money. Most nights I am not able to afford a single accompanist, let alone a trio or quartet (at least not at a fair wage). It’s for this reason I relish the nights that I get to perform alongside other musicians. This is made all the more exciting when I get to perform with not only musicians, but friends.

Jeff and Dylan in the Soho

Jeff Rogers (drums) and Haley Shaw (harmony vocals) both appear on my latest record, Texodus. Both also performed with me at The Living Room Saturday night. Jeff lives in New York with his wife Allison and Haley just happened to be visiting friends this weekend.

(Jeff surprised Allison on their 6 year anniversary - which happened to be the night of the show)

The three of us, along with Sara, met Saturday afternoon for brunch at a great spot in Astoria called Sandford’s. We then walked over to Jeff and Allison’s apartment for a quick run-through of the set. Later that night we reconvened at The Living Room, one of my favorite NYC venues.
One of the challenges of playing a place like The Living Room is resisting the urge to rush through your set and play as many songs as possible. It can be difficult to sit back and enjoy the moment. For whatever reason, I felt more patient at this performance. I knew we only had 45 minutes and that another band was waiting in the wings, but for our allotted time I felt calm and confident. I took time to look at the audience and to talk to Haley and Jeff on stage, just as if we were back in the apartment goofing off. Haley also performed her song “Swing Low,” to the delight of the nearly packed house.

I was thankful for Sara’s perspective on this night. She remarked on how different I appeared to feel compared to the gig in Charlottesville. I notice these things, too, but sometimes wonder if it’s just me overanalyzing. The reason for a different performance seems simple: Haley and Jeff.

Please check out Haley’s songs here. She’s one of my favorites. Send her an email and let her know how much you’re looking forward to her new album. And please visit Jeff’s site here. I’m honored to know him and his wife Allison. They are a constant source of inspiration.

Thanks for following. To check out more of Sara’s photos go here.


Tagged: sara kerens,dylan sneed,the living room,nyc,jeff rogers,sara kerens photographynew yorkhayley shaw