I thought the band was going to kick me off stage. I was fucking up. A lot.
I am currently in Memphis, Tennessee with plans to head down to Clarksdale, Mississippi to rendezvous with a blues society in the exact spot where Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil. We’ve then got a week of workshops and jamming sessions.
The blues is about truth, and stories…and of course of feeling blue. At the break I was envisioning getting the cold shoulder from the pros I played with. I hadn’t backed them up as well as I could have. I thought of Andy Warhol, who would apparently ignore artists at parties he thought of as lowly, which meant professional death for them. That’s not what happened.
Instead, the blues musicians approached me. I was 30 years their junior and they wanted to learn more about me. They treated me as warm as their buddies who they have been playing with for decades. I told them my passions, and they told me to keep it up. The positive encouragement and support meant more to me than the high I had on stage. My friend had only helpful words for me, reminding me that it was my first time on stage in over 11 years.
I see the blues as the most undervalued genre of music. It’s really where everything started in American music. The community is small, yet strong and accepting. The blues started as a creative outlet for dealing with segregation and oppression, and an ounce of that negativity inside the community would turn it inside out.
We can choose these communities. The greater our social intelligence skills, the better able we are to consciously surround ourselves with people who help us thrive. How? Because the better your people skills, the more you realize you can approach and create meaningful connections with anyone. That gives you a powerful abundance mindset.
I might not be great yet at playing the blues. But I know that if I show up with a guitar to a session it’ll be my personal communication that speaks louder than my guitar. At Jaunty we call this inner vs. external status. The same can be worked on with social skills. Your intentions of empathy, and assertiveness, and storytelling are way more important than your resume. I might be playing the blues, but feeling that genuine connection with good people, makes me very happy.