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March 5, 2011 / John Sieger

Growing Old Gracefully

Click: Growing Old

This is me rehearsing last summer for a solo opener I did at the Barrymore Theater in Madison. I play solo on occasion, but rarely in theaters and I wanted to go over and over the material and my set up to try to find an unshakeable comfort zone. This doesn’t get easier  as the years go by and it begs the question: just when do you pack it in and look at other, more dignified ways to spend your time? If it meant saying goodbye to all the driving, rehearsing, waiting, expense and psychic energy invested in the business end of the music, the answer would be obvious—right way sounds pretty good! The complicating factor is the music itself. As much as I like to share, I do this mainly for myself. It’s my form of what you might call meditation, something that allows the bee hive I that is brain to acheive a kind of stillness. If I honestly felt that my skills were eroding, I’d say adios in a second. But for some reason I like what I am able to do at this stage of my career. My voice feels great, I’ve been writing songs that feel like winners to me and I’m still chipping away slowly at my guitar chops. Having put no small effort into all of these pursuits over a long stretch of time, I’ve reached a point where things usually come together in a satisfying way when I play—barring the occasional technical glitch or inattentive audience. So I still enjoy it, perhaps more than it seems to make sense to. To paraphrase the NRA, you can have my guitar when you pry it from my cold dead fingers. Maybe not so graceful after all!

© 2011 John Sieger

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