A couple months ago, I switched to Google Analytics for traffic tracking. It's always a little fascinating to see my monthly traffic. To date, I've done zero marketing and placement for the site, and it seems most folks get here by directly typing JamesCurtisSmith.com into their browser nav bar. Fascinating. I'll be doing more dedicated marketing for the site next year. Still not entirely sold on the current platform. But, we'll see... You can click the image below to get a better view of where folks are coming from to get here.
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Exactly six years ago today, I made my return to the live stage after a 13-year absence at Brent Kirby's 10x3. I was scared shitless. Not only was I returning to the stage, but I was returning to the stage with just me and an acoustic guitar. I'd never before performed as a solo artist. Did I mention I was scared shitless? I remember local raconteur and music shop owner Tim Johnson sitting at the very front of the stage, with a cocktail and a mischievous grin, looking like a talent scout ready with the hook if he didn't like what he was hearing. I remember the bustle, and the laughter, and getting there way too early because I'm weird, and hate being late to anything. I remember meeting Brent Kirby in person for the first time, and instantly being just a bit calmer. Still scared shitless. But, he had a quiet confidence that let me know everything was going to be okay. He wears his kindness and his appreciation for musicians in his smile. He's a great musician, and a wonderful songwriter. But, he's an even better person.
I don't actually remember much about my time on stage. I remember following two incredibly talented performers, and thinking to myself "don't fuck this up." I remember finishing my last song to warm and gracious applause, and Brent being on stage with a hug and encouraging words. I remember instantly thinking, "I've got to do this AGAIN."
My set done, I was able to relax, and watch the next performers. I was amazed by the breadth and range of talent in our area. I remember being amazed at the attentive and supportive crowd. I remember Brent Kirby's great songs, and ownership of the stage. In all of my years of playing professionally - in bars, clubs, or outdoor festivals in front of thousands - I'd never seen a room and an event like the 10x3.
I've been honored with six appearances at the 10x3. I'm well overdue. They've been split three-apiece between Brent and Jason Patrick Meyers as hosts, MC, and show-closer. It's clear why Brent asked Jason to step-in for him. Jason is amazingly talented, and he has an old soul in that whiskey-drinkin', vegan body of his. We might have to fight, if you asked me which of the six nights was my favorite. They've all been special, and inspiring.
I’ve had a few private messages asking if I was okay. For those of you wondering - and who may have felt weird asking - the answer is “yes.” I’m okay. I’ve been laying low, and taking care of some things. I’ve got a (relatively minor) health issue to work through, and some personal stuff I’m trying to sort and settle. But, I’ll be okay in no time. I’ve got a gig with Dan McCoy on October 25th that I’m super excited about - new songs, and sharing the stage with a couple of great writers and performers! I will have some video and recordings to share when the leaves start changing. THANK YOU for checking up on me, and I promise to hit the ground running around Labor Day. Much love!
As 2017 came to a close, and the New Year rang in, I began receiving numerous inquiries regarding opportunities for live dates. As I fielded each inquiry, I had to begrudgingly admit that I was wholly unprepared to capitalize on them. I'd ignored my online presence for the better part of a year, and neither had I recorded any new songs or videos in that period of time. And so, it begins in earnest - the effort to resurrect my music-making.
In the not-too-distant past, I had a respectable mob of loyal followers and supporters for my creative output. Even as my live shows dwindled to but two or three a year recently, I still had a small but loyal band of fans that kept track of my random and often last-minute appearances. Even today, I have a committed group that writes often, asking about new shows, new music - new ANYTHING. And, it's long past time I stopped disappointing them.
Knock-on-wood, things outside of music and writing have started to calm down. I've downsized my online presence to only this space, Facebook and Twitter. If you are one of that band of dedicated friends, fans and/or followers, I humbly and wholeheartedly THANK YOU for your continued encouragement and support! If you are a new visitor, I invite you to dig around the site, reach out to me on social media, and check back often for new music!