I’m playing a private event in Atlanta this evening, and as I listen to the rain outside of my window, I’m not looking forward to the hour-and-a-half drive to the gig. To be honest, I’m not totally looking forward to gig for another reason: I’ll be playing solo.
I still get nervous before performing, and even though I’ve done lots of solo gigs in the past, I’m way more comfortable getting up on stage with the band behind me. They’re sort of a security blanket for me, and I know that even if I don’t hit all the notes right, the band’s gonna rock and the show will be good. When I play solo, I’m way more exposed. If I miss a note or flub a chord, there’s nothing to hide behind. And I’m not an exceptional singer or guitarist, so the songs themselves better be good enough to make up for any lack of virtuosity on my part.
But that’s the essence of what I’ve been going for all along, isn’t it? To write great songs. So part of the challenge is to be receptive to the songs and write them when they come. It’s another challenge, when performing, to get out of the way and let the songs speak on their own. And playing solo acoustic shows is the best way to practice that.
I just added a solo show in Atlanta on November 11th for Two Wheel Driver, a great local cancer benefit combining motorcycles, golf and music. I’ll be joining Michael Tolcher, Sam Thacker, Heather Lutrell, Elizabeth Elkins and Chuck Carrier. It’s $10 and the proceeds go to help pay medical costs for Ashley Klem, who was diagnosed with breast cancer. Go to www.twowheeldriver.com for more info.
2009 RECIPIENT INFORMATION
Ashley Elizabeth Klem is 28 years old and was diagnosed with breast cancer on June 19th of this year. She has a mass in Stage 1 with the possibility that it has spread to her lymph nodes. Given her age and other circumstances, her cancer specialist has recommended a bilateral mastectomy followed by chemotherapy
and Herceptin treatments. Because of obvious troubles in the economy, Ashley unfortunately has no health insurance.
Ashley was born January 27, 1981 in Conyers, GA and grew up on a 285 acre farm that has been in her mother’s family for over one hundred years. She comes from a very artistic family with her mother being a landscape designer and her father working as a mechanical engineer. She has one older sister who is married with three children. Ashley attended high school in Rockdale County at Heritage High, where she played both soccer and volleyball until graduation in 1999. She then attended Georgia State University, gaining her BA degree in Studio Art in 2005. While at Georgia State University, Ashley was a member of the Delta Zeta sorority
and studied abroad in France for one summer.
After working for over three years as a design consultant in the new home construction business, Ashley’s company had to close its Atlanta office due to the ongoing recession… and along with it, lost her health insurance. She is presently working at Fado Irish Pub & Restaurant and has been blessed to meet many amazing fellow employees and patrons of the pub.
With golf and music events being planned for late October, TWO WHEEL dRIVER will be working through the fall of 2009 to raise money for Ashley while she focuses on what matters most.