Last night Michelle and I had the pleasure to be at this small restaurant in Worcester, MA for a very intimate after party for the WXLO Acoustic Christmas Party. A few of the artists showed up at the after party and a couple of them made it to the stage.
This type of intimate get together is always an opportunity for some great moments and I want to share what was the great moment for me. Not to play down what a treat it was to watch Steven Page (former lead singer of Bare Naked Ladies) playfully take on everyone from Michael Jackson, George Michael, Tom Petty, and of course his own book of songs from BNL, I have to make special mention of another performer.
Jimmy Stafford, guitarist for Train, came to the stage, took hold of the host’s Ukulele and along with a local singer performed Soul Sister. Now the Uke isn’t one of those instruments that lets a guitarist shine. And it was late. The audience in this tiny club couldn’t have been bigger than maybe 30 – 35 people. But this guy who tours the world and just performed with his Grammy nominated band in a huge stadium in front of 10’s of thousands of fans grabbed the moment.
I’ve seen club performers nearly fall to sleep in front of audiences twice this size, just snoozing their way through song after song. I always find this to be both insulting to the audience and disrespectful to the art. I always felt that if even there is only one person listening, your end of the deal is to give your best. I also don’t think you should be performing music if you don’t love what you’re doing.
And here comes Jimmy. He smiled infectiously from ear to ear the whole time, encouraged the local singer into a solid version of a hard song to sing and brought a ton of energy to this performance. It’s obvious he loves what he does and respects his audience. It was inspiring and shows how much of a professional and incredible performer this guy is.
It was self-affirming for me because I strive for that in my own performance. I’m sure I don’t always achieve it but whenever I hit the stage I attempt to do exactly what Jimmy did last night. And it felt great to witness Jimmy’s love for music and performing up close and personal. Thanks.