Finding Your Voice on a Monday Morning
This past Saturday I had the pleasure of driving up to St. Andrews to do a little acoustic guitar workshop, with a little help from Jesse Duley. I always like going up that way, the town has a great vibe, reminds me of Oxford, just with more tartan.
Anyway, I'm writing this on my least favourite day of the week...Monday. Today I've decided that rather than just get maudlin about the mundane and all the stuff I've got to do this week, I thought I'd try something novel (for me), and turn Monday into a day of dedication to the Lord. Now, I'm not talking about a 24 hour prayer session. I'm just being deliberate in thinking about Him, talking to Him and waiting on Him, as I go about ther day to day stuff. It seems to have been a blessing already, much more peace than usual, more clarity and more sense of Him. I also decided to begin work on a collection of blues songs. I've been wanting to do this for years, but never had the nerve. Blues is easy to play technically but very hard to play properly. It's also difficult not to sound like a cliche'd pub rocker hammering out yet another 12 bar.
Since we were in Oxford I've felt a pressing to really let out my own musical voice. As a worship leader my main focus in music of recent years has been playing in an accessible way, which is what is required to do the job. But as an artist that can sometimes be a hinderance as I now have a (imaginary) senior pastor type who lives in my head with the job of editor. He's very useful when I'm leading worship as I'm there for the congregation not my own musical kicks. But when I'm trying to create in a non corporate artistic capacity it can be a pain.
However I've felt more an more of a release over the past couple of months, thanks to guys like Dan Wilt who really model a life of authentic accessible worship leading as well as a fruitful artistic life. After years of inner conflict I realise that the two facets can live side by side. Besides, musically, I was always more Keith Richards than Cliff Richard more John lee Hooker than John Barnett (bad analogy I know, but it's Monday!), now I realise that's perfectly ok.
I'll try to diarise the process as I do it. I'm hoping to demo the first song which is partially written, some time today. Should be an interesting journey. Now I need to dust off my mojo and see if it's working! (bad Muddy Waters pun)