I was up late trying to wrap my head around the meaning of that. I could hear my dad’s voice. He used to always say “if you say you’re gonna do something, do it!" As a really observant child-with a slightly cynical nature- constantly hearing that from him, I took it more so as a challenge to mentally note as many occasions in which he wasn’t able to keep his own word.
But as an adult, I see just how hard it is to be a man of your word. So much so, that I’ve replaced I promise with I’ll try. Life is just too full of unexpected circumstances. Besides that, a man is just a man. However honorable he might be, beneath his good reputation, he’s still just a man.
Man is flawed: that’s probably the only certain fact about human nature is that human beings are flawed. We’re packed with so many uncertainties, so much unpredictable behavior. Viewing the world from this stance, it just seems to me like it isn’t really wise to make promises, and to expect others to honor theirs. When someone gives you their word does it really guarantee anything? I think all it does is warrants you the right to expect, and adds pressure onto them to deliver.
I think I’d prefer to spare myself from having to deal with all of that by choosing not to expect, and instead just applauding good effort when I see it.
I’ve taken a deep plunge head first into the likes of Mary Wells, Irma Thomas, Bettye Swann, Fontella Bass, Sam Cooke, Donny Hathaway, Al Green, Ray Charles, and Otis Redding.
I think it started with my infatuation with Amy Winehouse’s Back To Black album. Which would make sense, seeing how her Frank album turned me on to Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, and my favorite of the cluster: Dinah Washington. Talk about name-dropping huh? hehe
Amy’s one of those few artists for me that listening to her music makes me want to look into her musical influences, which as of today has broughten me to this phase of early and old soul music.
I love the way things were expressed back in those days. I think the structure of the songs were relatively simple. No complicated key or rhythm changes. Just simple but soothing melodies, and honest and profound lyrics.
My songwriting has definitely been influenced by what I’ve been listening to. I’ve stopped trying so hard to showcase my bad ass beginner guitar skills (hehe), and spent more time on grouping just the right words into a euphonious flow of expression. As of late its been working out really nice. I feel like my songs are more of my truths, my secrets, and my perspective on experiences. To some extent, its both helped and hurt my showmanship. I was shy about performing before, simplifying my guitar licks has helped with my approach to performing in front of people. But the more of myself i bear in my songs, the deeper the attachment to them, which makes it that much harder for me to share them.
I’ll keep working at it…