Oh Wow! Jump Up And Down!
I just found out that I was accepted to play at the FBISF: Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama. This is truly an honor as I will be associating with people who write the songs for well-known stars. Lots of little things running through my mind right now like which songs to play? what to wear? should I put new strings on the guitar? what all should I pack?
I should take my camera and I wish I had some business cards. Nonetheless, I should exude confidence and get up there and perform my heart out. I think I’ll start out with a couple of my rocking tunes then hit them with a tear jerker or two. I must go now and practice. I am so excited. This is going to look good on my resume.
We arrived in Gulf Shores, Alabama on Thursday Nov. 16, 2006 and drove to the Silver Moon cafe & bar at around 2 pm. The volunteers were handing out goodie bags and name tags and we found out where our accomodations were to be and where meals would be. Mealtime turned out to be the best time for networking. I found myself a little shy about approaching these successful songwriters and performers because let’s face it, I’m a sensitive guy. It’s true. I have to admit I cried the first time I ever had sex but I think that was because of the mace.
I got to perform twice officially with the “New Friends Of The Festival.” To me a couple of the singers sounded like folk singers or what they call Americana. Nothing wrong with that and I do the same sometimes but too many slow songs in a row and I tend to get sleepy so when it came my time to sing I picked some of my peppier songs to liven things up. According to the applause, I think they liked it. In fact, this guy announced that I had single-handedly created the biggest genre shift of the evening. I personally like traditional country and old time rock and roll. I was born before there was such a thing as rock and roll so I have had the great fortune in this life of watching rock being born. The two biggest thrills while at the festival were going across the street to FloraBama roadhouse and watching the performers there while the “Lolas” were there. LOLA stands for Ladies Of Lower Alabama. The Lolas are a group of women similar to the Sweet Potato Queens who dress outrageously in bustles, leotards, fishnet stockings, boas, pink wigs (or blue), and ridiculous accessories. There was a big, loud crowd there and everyone was having great fun in the middle of the afternoon. The second big thrill was going to RiverWatch. That’s the name of the house directly behind the Silver Moon. The protocol there is, you come in with your guitar and take a seat around the dining room table and each person takes a turn playing a song. If you stay as long as I did (till 3 am) you eventually get to play all your songs. I heard some amazing songs that night. Songs about a rhinestone Jesus outside the Taco Bell, a song about RCs and moon pies, a song about a southern girl that calls everybody honey and sweetie and is always fixing to go over yonder, a song about waltzing the two-step all the way back to Texas and many, many more. You needed to be there to experience the magic of the moment. It was so great I am really a little bit stunned and haven’t had it all sink in yet. I told the coordinator that if I didn’t get invited back next year then I would more than likely kill myself and she did not want to be responsible for that happening. I learned that beside the hospitality room where we all ate there was a place called Hub Stacy’s where they hold the kick off party and the closing festivities. Not only that but the Hub hosts several open mic nights. Sadly I didn’t learn all this till I got back home.
While I was there I did a little fishing and when I got back to the room my wife said “Did you catch anything?” I said “God, I hope not.”
Now I am seriously going to work on my second CD. I have all the songs written and the finished sound is in my head. It’s an expensive venture but I am going to bite the bullet and do it. Although I write great songs, I drop the ball when it comes to marketing and promotion so it winds up being a labor of love. I would love to hear anyones comments on any part of this.