On Vulnerability

The band and I have been hammering away at the music for a year and a half now toward our long-standing goal of building three hours of original show-ready material. We're getting there, but it's been quite a process. There are stand-out moments, for sure. I find, for example, that I'm always a bit beside myself when I enter the practice room with a new song sketch. At once, I feel both nervous and excited to pitch new music out to Tim, Claudia, Tom and Jim. The anxiety comes from vulnerability. I know they're going to crack open the song, mess with it, alter it, infuse with new rhythms, harmonies and forms and, by the time it's finished, it may or may not even be recognizable from what I'd envisioned. It's nerve-racking. But get this - that's what the excitement is about, too. It comes from the SAME PLACE. The same breath-robbing possibility of change, but also a sense of great potential, for I know they're going to augment, sharpen, bolster, lighten, darken, perhaps even set fire to the song. By the time it's finished, it may or may not even be recognizable, but that's also a GOOD thing! If they weren't such great players and giving musicians, I wouldn't be able to trust enough to let it happen. Great transformations of the songs that I pen and show these folk have taken place over and over again, all in the pursuit of making better music, and I'd be doing everyone wrong if I were to stand in the way. What is it about vulnerability and potential that is so inextricably hip-tied and heart-bending?

It happened most recently with our latest tune, "Hiding in Love". Here's a link to the free download, still somewhat hot off the presses. And since you're still reading, I'm also going to let you in on a secret. The groove that we dig most about this tune wasn't always present. Here's a link to the sketch that it once was, long ago. SHHHH!!! This is for purposes of reflection only. Same chord progression, same melody, mostly the same words. But the band burned it up for the phoenixed version. We like the current version, but to each, you know? You're welcome to wish it back to the um-pah version.

So all that said, I'm wondering, always needing food for song. What makes the rest of you feel nervous, vulnerable, afraid, etc.? If you've got the juice, we'd be interested in thoughts, stories, secrets of your own. What does vulnerability mean to you?