After a few of her shows, it occurred to me that she almost never played any of the songs from her CD. I asked her why. Her response was something to the effect that her newer material was more interesting to her.
I didn't get it, but whatever. Her non-CD songs were good too.
Fast-forward to the present. Ron the Drummer and I are gearing up for this year's Acoustic Battle of the Bands. We only have 15 minutes to play, so we have to choose our songs carefully. As we deliberated during rehearsal, I realized something. My top picks didn't include one song from our album. Ron felt much the same.
Now I get it.
Set lists evolve. We have to rotate older songs out to make room for newer ones. When deciding what goes and what stays, we've given the songs from Highways and Hiking Shoes preferential treatment. Why? Part of it is that we used some of our strongest work for our album, so it floats to the top naturally. The other part is promotion. If listeners hear and like specific songs from our album, the logic goes, they'll be more likely to buy it.
We released Highways four years ago. That's four years of heavy rotation. We're still proud of those CD songs, but we're ready to play something else now.
The obvious solution is to record again. If we make another CD, it expands the number of songs that we need to promote.
We're working on ways to make this happen. Stay tuned.
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Note: Remember how, at the end of my last post, I said that "next time" I'd talk more about vagueness and specificity in songwriting? What I should have said was, I'll talk about this the next time I have a lot more time to contemplate the subject. Hopefully this weekend or next. Hang tight.