Saturday, February 4, 2012


The band was hot. Well into their last set of the evening, they had a whole lot of people—including me—up and dancing.

Then lead singer Kristin Chandler addressed the audience. She was nervous about doing this next song, she said, because it was slow. That took her out of her comfort zone. She invited us to follow her out of her comfort zone.

The band played sweet, slow, and reflective. But after it was over, they launched into another danceable tune.

A week or so later, I finally had the chance to listen to the CD I'd obtained from the gig. Unlike their live set, most of Deja was singer-songwritery. That is, slow or mid-tempo, more contemplative, inviting listeners to pay close attention to the meaning of the lyrics.

I was a little surprised, but I shouldn't have been. I knew exactly why Kristin would feel good about recording songs she wouldn't play live.

About two-thirds of the songs I write are on the singer-songwritery side. When Ron the Drummer and I put a set list together for a Cinder Bridge show, however, we skew more toward songs that are up-tempo, or heavier, or have a prominent groove. We do it because live audiences prefer music that moves. When I'm in the audience, at least for unfamiliar music, I'm the same way. I'll happily bop along to a bar band whose stuff I'd never listen to at home.

So I get it. But it's annoying. It means a lot of my favorite songs aren't rotated in as often as I'd like.

We have GOT to put a new album out.


Anonymous said...

This is actually very true, especially for bands who aren't that well known. If you are the Rolling Stones, you just play your hits. But if you are Joe's Garage Band you have to tailor your music to fit either a CD or a live show. The audience expects different things there. You could produce a CD which contains songs which are melodic and with lyrics you have to think about some. Live, people want to dance, and they don't care about the lyrics.

cinderkeys said...

I guess the real solution is to become world-famous. Then we can play our equivalents of "Wild Horses" and "Angie," and no one will fall asleep.