Amazing experience yesterday at the opening of the Ryerson Farmer’s Market, though it didn’t start out so. I woke to grey skies and grumbled most of the way there on the 505. It was cold. I’ve been riddled with sinus stuff for a few months now, which has hindered my freedom to really let loose vocally. And I found my comparing mind tearing me apart, as, just prior to leaving for the gig, I saw an old friend’s post on facebook, which told of his departure for exotic climes to begin his summer tour schedule as a successful sound engineer. “How can it be,” the cunning voice asked “that Chris has done so well, flying here and there and making these pro acts sound beautiful, getting paid for his expertise and, though no doubt working his butt off, is having a blast plying his passion, while here I am, playing another Farmer’s Market, knowing, most likely, that I’ll be largely ignored and won’t make enough cash to help make ends meet?”
I texted my lovely wife, to bemoan the fact that I wasn’t feeling like I could get it up for the show. She responded by saying that as soon as I opened my yapper to sing, all would be well. She was right. Sort of.
With the sinus ailment, it was hard to get through the performance. A few songs in, my head and throat were on fire, in all the wrong ways. I kept on keepin’ on. By the third set, I was finally there. Flying with the tunes. People were feeling it.
One old cat in a wheelchair came right up to me mid-song and asked me if I was Gordon Lightfoot’s son. Keith, over at the Sugar Mamma donuts truck walked over and put a bag of his wares in my open case. Anna and Geoff at the coffee truck beside me made me one of the tastiest cortados I’ve yet sampled. A chap studying for his Fine Arts degree approached me to set up a shoot of me performing in a few weeks. The community vibration was positive.
Someone I know in the music industry once told me that making a great record is no longer enough to succeed in “the biz,” that the music itself is no longer enough. With the new paradigm, I understand what she meant, though in yesterday’s case, the music was everything. Street level, honest connection though song. Music has always been a great healer and teacher, to myself and many others. It’s been my means to understand myself, our common lines and how we roll together here on the blue dot.
We never know what might happen if we remain open and breathe through our challenges. My experience yesterday is such an awesome example of this. What started out as pure crustiness, ended up a wonderful thing.
Here’s to music. Here’s to community. Here’s to real time connection.
Thanks for reading.