Posted on 8 Comments

Stoppin’ playin’

Well, kind of. It’s absolutely clear to me that doing a day-job in Aberdeen and my residency there during the week is incompatible with performing in Edinburgh – even at open mics and sessions at the weekends. My time when I’m at home in Edinburgh doesn’t allow practice and rehearsal time to do justice to playing out and about. I’ve experienced the discomfort of having to turn down a gig for lack of preparation and being just so damned tired and it’s really not the way I want to go. I hope to be able to come back to it when circumstances permit. I miss it.

8 thoughts on “Stoppin’ playin’

  1. Dave,
    Hi, “countryblues” here, from the UMGF and Woodshed forums, 10+ years ago. Not that I expect you’d remember me, but we had some good chats, both on and off the forums, which I remember fondly. You might remember me as the guy who posted a (highly complimentary, of course!) review of “Interim Reports” on the UMGF. Anyway, I’ve just been listening to that album again—including “Apropos Of A Working Day”, which still knocks me out—and so I thought I’d say “hello”, and that I hope you’re doing all right.


  2. Hi Nick!

    I do remember you from UMGF! Great to hear from you and I hope you’re keeping well and prospering in 2020 (which looks just like 2019 to me!)

    I was delighted to read your comment on “Apropos…”. I really must find out if I can still sing it!!!

    What are you up to? Do you still visit these forums? I kinda drifted away – but I still feel grateful for the help and comradeship I was offered when I was participating. I started playing gigs more and made a couple of more records but then went quiet after a while as life took over. Got 30 “new” songs being finished up – just need to decide how to distribute. Not keen on more CDs.

    Anyhoo, again, great to hear from you. Let me know what’s happening with you across the pond!


  3. Dave,
    Hello! Great to hear from you too. Regarding the forums—UMGF and, to a lesser extent, the Woodshed—I also drifted away from them, around 2007. Like you, I appreciated the help (on technical matters) and comradeship, but after a few years of intense participation, and with time being a precious commodity for someone with my various interests (music, technology, literature, history, art, politics, gardening), I felt that it was time to move on. And of course there’s also the “life took over” factor that you cited. Up until a couple of years ago, I was assisting graduate students at a local university in the composition of their dissertations and other papers. Too much time spent at the keyboard/screen, which exacerbated chronic pain and joint issues that I began experiencing several years ago, which resulted in my having to stop working, years earlier than I would have chosen to (I’m 63 now). This also led to my having to stop playing guitar. (The last song that I played was a nice fingerstyle arrangement—mostly by a pro, but with a few parts by me—of Elvis Costello’s “Alison”. If you’re interested, I made a recording of it that I could send. A bit rough around the edges, but not too bad.) So, it’s been difficult, but I’m determined to get through all this @#$% and start playing again.

    About your new songs, that’s great! I’m really glad to hear that. As for your concern about the distribution, I follow the US music-business scene, and so I know how difficult it is in the streaming era for even established artists who are not either megastars or very lucky (good connections, etc.) to make decent money from studio recordings. And then there’s the fact that the “album”—the format that meant so much to people our age—increasingly seems to be something of a relic. Perhaps things are a bit more favorable in the UK/Europe compared with the US?

    Speaking more generally, regarding your comment on 2020/2019, I’m hoping, though without much optimism, that 2020 does *not* look like 2019! %^O


  4. Dave,
    I meant to ask, will you be maintaining an email list of folks like me who want to be notified when you release any new songs?


  5. Hi Nick!
    Sorry to read about you having to stop playing guitar! I know how that must feel. I count myself very lucky that I haven’t had such a serious challenge to my playing – although my right shoulder complains a bit and I can feel finger joints stiffen if I haven’t played for a couple of days. I’ve got my fingers crossed (the un-stiff ones) that you can get some relief and resolution. I presume you’ve gone through all the normal medication and physiotherapy stuff?

    Yes, please do sent me your recording of “Alision”. Would love to hear it!

    I’m reconciled to the way the music biz is. Still I’d put more into it if I could give up the day-job which involves me working away from home during the week with no guitar, blah blah blah. I’m coming up to 67 and should be retired by now but have a couple of hurdles to get over. Hopefully sometime this year…

    I see you’ve asked about new songs in another comment so I’ll reply to that now…

  6. Nick – Good point! I’ve added a subscription widget on the right so If you don’t mind entering your email address we can see if it works! Ha!

  7. Dave,
    I’m now subscribed. Cue Dr. Frankenstein: “It’s alive, it’s alive!”

  8. Dave, Thanks for the kind thoughts re my pain issues. Yeah, I’ve been energetically engaging in all possible avenues of treatment (including two shoulder surgeries) for a few years now, but so far, it’s mostly been “two steps forward, one step back”. We shall see…

    PS Re “Alison” file, could you send me an email that I could reply to? Thanks.

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