July 5, 2004

Wow...the band and I just had an awesome gig last night. We celebrated the 4th of July by performing in the football stadium on Faurot Field here in Columbia. The crowd was fantastic, truly appreciative, the weather was gorgeous, breezy and not as hot as it usually is in July in Missouri, and musically we felt more together than ever.

In Michael's and my absence, the band practiced the Nashville version of one of my newer songs, 'Brave New World' and we chose to include that in our set, along with some 'old' standards. (It is strange to reflect on the fact that we have been performing many of my songs for 4 years now.) Even though we all got a little sunburned during sound check, spirits were high, the sound turned out to be awesome in such a challenging space as a football stadium, (Nelson Audio and everyone involved are fabulous)and we just generally felt on top of the world for 50 minutes.

Tom, a close mentor of mine, convinced me to make an "entrance" and be driven up in a golf cart, their version of a limo, they joked. I tell you, it felt weird, all these insecurities popped into my head: 'I don't want people to think I'm trying to be a diva...', but then I thought, a DIVA in a golf-cart? It was so amusing, and it was played off so well by everyone involved, that it turned out to be incredibly fun, and funNY. The only unfortunate aspect was not getting a chance to check my instruments and realizing right before my big violin solo that my shoulder rest wasn't on my electric violin, which hindered my ability to play the way I normally would. However, the entire show was one in which all of us soaked up every second. We were a little high on life, I'd say.

I've come to the realization that the band is my second family (maybe I've said this before) and all those guys are some of my closest friends. They keep me in line, (plenty of teasing and such) and have saved me numerous times when I've forgotten pieces of equipment or am otherwise occupied during a show. They see me at my worst and I hope sometimes at my best, and have fostered my growth as artist and person. They've put up with me, and they've put me up. They are brothers, fathers, friends, and in a way I'm married to them all (okay, really only one of them) but the relationships involved have to be so based on trust and reliability, that they are similar to marriages. We spend enough time together to get sick of each other, but we never do. Maybe every once in a while we argue, but it's always resolved because ultimately there is love and respect between band members that is its own unusual and unique brand.

I've been really lucky.

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