“Stop Mumbling”

“Don’t mumble” is a tough one for me. Basically: people are scary.

Jon at Brown's Orchard

Me playing at Brown’s Orcharge on 3/16/13. Yes, that’s Eeyore, suckahs. (Photo by Michael Friedman.)

Anyway, I’ve never really been a mumble-y singer (at least not in the last 10 years or so …), but I do tend to mumble when talking, on the microphone and off. Lexa called me out on this recently, so I made a special effort this past Saturday not to mumble.

Clearly this is one of those “fake it” things … apparently it improves your whole performance, because I can’t remember ever having such an positive response to a solo performance (especially not one where I noticeably forgot the lyrics to TWO songs I play quite often). Also, I noticed I smiled a lot more. People actually laughed at the jokes.

My friend Michael Friedman, who’s a wonderful guitarist (and fellow gearhead — he owns a few of my creations), split the show with me. Michael plays classical on an electric guitar, and his touch is just unbelievable: it doesn’t look like his right hand’s fingers are moving at all. Just incredibly deft and completely at home on the fretboard. Plus he’s pretty hilarious between songs.

We played at an orchard (Brown’s Orchard, near-ish to Harrisburg), which is something different. They’ve got a little country store/grocery and a cafe. I ate corned beef and played a few Irish songs.

I did have a few issues related to equipment and volume that made my first set a little uncomfortable: my dirt pedal sounded a little louder through the Centaur acoustic PA than through my amp, and the first time I hit it I was scared of blowing out the nice folks having a wine tasting five feet from the speaker. I don’t think anyone really noticed, but there were times when I felt like I really ruined a moment or two. I was also scared in the first set of being too loud for the room (not exactly a small room, but it “felt” small), and it was cold outside and I hadn’t warmed up, so I got some helpful comments on the high notes being pitchy, which I think I corrected in the second set: I got compliments on my vocals (always unusual for me) after the second round and it felt more comfortable.

And one person said, “I like how you don’t mumble.”



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