Locked down in the fair city of Melbourne, Australia … so many things you can’t do. Can’t go out in to the fields and forests and there is just so much TV the mind can take. Can’t go to the studio and record but you can write songs. Can’t rehearse with the band but you can collaborate on line. Can’t gig but you can play, study theory, improve your instrument skills or … you can play the catalog, which I am in the process of doing at the moment.
Now I wonder if Neil Young or Jackson Browne ever sit down and say “I think I’ll play through the catalog”, it would probably take either one of them a number of weeks playing four hours a day to get through it. My task is a bit less daunting, it used to be relatively easy when there were only thirty or so songs I used to do it regularly, but now that there is just short of a hundred it takes a bit longer to get through it.
As I go through songs I may not have played for years, and during that time my guitar and theory skills have improved and my songwriting has developed (well hopefully), you hear things. Maybe you hear a different rhythm or chord voicing or a change that you didn’t vocalize or play really well, so an old song may get a bit of a rebirth in the way it is played or sung. You might also forget how you played a few and have to go back and listen to the recording to remember … not many of those, most of them just came right back as I probably played them a hundred times or so I don’t usually forget them completely.
Some songs written ten or more years ago are still among my favorites and many are still in my solo or band set lists. The favorites that are not played all the time come back easily because they still ring true, sometimes even more so now than when I wrote them.
I am looking forward to, when this Viral Correction (the title of one of my new songs) is cleaned up, getting in to Incubator Studios solo and with the band and professionally recording as much of my material as time and funds will allow. Then I’ll be putting songs out in to the world and hopefully bring some pleasure to listeners out there who are still in to the old hippie folk rock, music with a message stuff that I write.
Got plenty of new stuff too and as always the songwriting continues. I have been collaborating with one of my band mates and he is shinning a different musical light on some of my lyrics which is really exciting as it is something new for both him and me. We have two finished and a goal to get two more done in the remaining five weeks (at least) of lock down.
So while there is so much I can’t do there is still some things I can do … hopefully before you know it I will be able to put up some new/old material, maybe even put another album or EP together.
I wonder how many other songwriters ever sit down and play through the catalog, just for fun?