Relearning Old Songs!
Folks have approached me at recent Texas Hill Country performances requesting songs I remembered writing but, dang it, I couldn’t remember how they went--at least not completely. Some songs like "Winter Sprites" and "What a Christmas It Was!" I rarely perform outside of December.
Recently I realized I had gotten into the habit of playing the most recent crowd favorites (my wife insightfully pointed out) and I have unintentionally ignored the older songs from earlier recordings. As I've attempted to perform these forgotten gems I realized there were unique chord progressions I sadly couldn’t recall. Some songs had three or four verses and some of the lines just weren't coming to me.
For example, my Purgatory Road CD includes a longtime fan favorite "Thunder and Lightning," which is a song with a descending chord progression on the choruses that was improvised during a recording session; it was not what I had originally written and recorded on an earlier acoustic release so I kept confusing the versions when I tried to play it after it was recently requested. So I've relearned it. Another example, I recorded "Front Porch Swing" from my Rodeo Night album shortly after it was written (with M.L. Heflin) without ever having rehearsed or memorized the swing chords or all of the verses. I'm on it now.
Thank goodness technology has made all of this so much easier than before. I used to carry a fat binder loaded with lyrics and chords that was not only cumbersome and inadequate but it was rendered wholly useless in an breezy outdoor setting. I've gotten to do several shows with Drew Womack (pictured above at our Marble Falls Music Festival sponsors event) and he makes use of an iPad and song software, so he can have his entire repertoire on one device. I too have implemented an iPad and SongSheet Pro software so that I can change verses with a bluetooth pedal as I perform the song on stage. Man, I should've done this years ago!
SongSheet Pro functions well without wifi or a cell phone signal and it enables me to add any chord at any point to any lyric I've created, but there have been situations where I've had to go online to johnarthurmartinez.net/media to retrieve a lyric from my one of my lyric booklets placed there for friends and fans to check out--perhaps I should put up all of the chord charts too for you guitarists and musicians out there! For those times when I need access and no wifi is available I can easily turn my cell phone into a mobile hotspot, which of course allows me access to all of my lyric files saved on Google Docs. Incidentally, I can copy a chord and lyric document I've created in Docs and paste it into SongSheet Pro; it will automatically transform into a useable format.
Are there any old songs of mine from my early days you'd like me to relearn? I'm happy to do it.