Thursday, October 23, 2008

"I think I Finally Understand the Sudden Paradox of Self-Control" ~Coming Down

Well, I know it's been a long time.

But, as my mother often says, 'the best laid plans of mice and MIllie Mintzer do often go astray'. As it stands, it seems mine do, too.

However, we're back in the saddle, and with a new cowhand in the stable. (Do I like a metaphor or what?). Claudio Tomasello from Rome, Italy, is now playing lead guitar, and that sound you heard was my sigh of contentment, which dropped 4 years and 200 pounds of stress off my shoulders.

Don't get me wrong- it was a very taxing month; I HATE replacing players. HATE. It's frought with wasted time, high emotion, and a sense of limbo that really doesn't sit well with me. But the good of the music is paramount.

So we settled in to audition guitarists.This time, I knew exactly what I did and didn't want. I need my band to be pleasant, loyal, positive and hear me- REALLY hear me; these songs are about a mood, an emotion, what was in my head when they were being born.

Claudio was far and away the best of the pack. Skilled on acoustic as well as electric, he is like the Kenny Rogers of guitarists, he knows when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em. He's knowledgeable and friendly, and he makes us all work harder.

So, with our new crew, we set off to debut at Genghis Cohen. It was a test of sorts, because the venue is so largely acoustic. This meant that Jake had to tone it WAAAAYYYY down, and Claudio had to learn all the songs that he'd just learned on electric for auditions in an acoustic format.

When we got on stage, I suddenly realized I was completely calm. I felt confident we'd worked out every kink, and were entirely prepared. We had the most fun we've ever had on stage, and even broke out a brand new song, Sunday, which will be on the new CD.

Change is constant. Change is inevitable. I always learn from it, much as I resist it, and it always turns out that God has something in mind that I didn't even think about.

We've spent this week in the studio, recording my first original Christmas song, "Salvation in The Skies". We're pretty excited about it, and it will be available in time for the holidays. After Claudio recorded his solo Tuesday night, the engineer said "OK- I need a cup of cocoa and a peppermint stick, stat!"

I said, "Yeah, Claudio, that was really Christmas-y."

And he replied, "Well, I was just picturing in my head the falling snow..."

I smiled. Now THAT's my language.....

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