I Had A Gig…

June 25th, 2009

Well… I sort of had a gig.  

My friend Forrest Whitlow really had a gig and he invited me to sing back-up for him.

I opened the evening with a few songs of my own.





It was kind of surreal.  

I don’t really play gigs anymore.  

I don’t really play anymore.  






So I did the only thing I knew how to do…

I bought a new dress.





And then I stumbled through four of my songs… barely remembering how to play them… how to sing them… how to do that whole set-up thing…









Yeah, it wasn’t that great.

And these guys here… they weren’t playing chess while I was singing.  

They left long before that.









Still, it was the coolest thing I have done in a long time.






This is Forrest Whitlow.  

He rocks.






And this is me.

I used to sing back-up for Forest when I lived in Kansas City.  We hauled out all the old tunes and sang them again.  

Then I sang back-up on a few of Forrest’s new tunes.





This is David Hakan. He is the founder of the Kansas City Songwriter’s Circle and a dear old friend of mine.

He recorded the new song set that Forrest did.  If any of the songs turn out well, there might be a record of the night’s performance.





All I know is that I used to have this in my life…

this songwriting thing…

And then it went away…

I don’t think about it very much because there are all these other things in my life instead.

And my life is very full and very good.

But when I was a songwriter…. I was in touch with something that was euphoric, ethereal and other-worldly.  

It can’t really be explained. 

I sometimes wonder where it went…


  • DirtyKSmama - Nikki:

    It’s amazing how even when life is good currently, getting a taste of the highlights of our old “normal life” can be so bittersweet.
    Hope you really enjoyed your evening. In my “old life” I would have gone to such a gig.

  • I bet you’ll be humming this one when you’re on a “train to Paris” this summer!

    Ah…could you play one of the songs YOU did?

  • Hoo boy, do I ever relate to that post. Steve and I were full time, on the road musicians for fifteen years then stopped (abruptly) seven years ago when our daughter was diagnosed with cancer. And just in the past month or two, we went out and did two concerts. Pretty weird. Pretty wonderful.

    And as for songwriting? I did THAT for my whole life and recorded 12 CD’s of orginal music. And then when Sarah was diagnosed? Songwriting just kind of dried up.

    But like you, I really and truly miss it. There’s nothing on earth quite as lovely as writing a song.

    Thanks for your sharing your great adventure. And what an amazing bookstore!!! I would love to pay it a visit.


  • Jill:

    I understand. My son is a musician and I still can’t wrap my mind around the fact that when he performs something he’s written – it’s something never heard before, notes and words never put together in just that way. It’s like creating something wonderful out of the ethers or celestial harmonies — I don’t know, it’s hard to put into words. Something didn’t exist, and then it does.

    Where did it go? Ohhh….it’s still inside you Rechelle! It’s like that line in Cold Comfort Farm about energy turning inward or out…your energies are just turned outward right now while raising a family – truly a creative experience of its own. But the time will come around when you can tap into that spring of inner creativity again.

    It’s cool that you can step back into the process from time to time. I’d love to roam that bookstore, BTW.

  • You’re so cool! You’re my new idol. Er, sort of. ;)

    Seriously, what an awesome evening. I would totally vote for you on whatever that show is where you vote for people who sing.

  • Awww, good for you!! :)

  • I can also relate to this post, Rechelle. I am a writer, and while I was raising my kids (and teaching in public schools some of those years to help support us), I had to put my writing on the back burner for a long time. While I loved being a mom and enjoyed teaching, I was out of touch with an important part of myself. Now the kids are grown and I’m retired, so I have the luxury of spending more time and energy on my writing. I just want to assure you that the time spent on my family and teaching kids has enriched my ability to create stories at this point in my life. I hope you also find this to be true, and that you get to enjoy songwriting again. And by the way, even though I love to write and know it’s a need for me, I wouldn’t trade a one of my three great kids for a whole shelf full of books with my name on them.

  • That’s cool! Songwriting and singing doesn’t go away… it just rests, waiting to be taken out of its treasure chest again when the time is right.

  • Southern Gal:

    I was so hoping there would be a little of you on that video. Come on! Share with us!

  • Lady Fi said it best. It’s still there, Rechelle.

    My husbands latent writing (and dear sweet goodness gracious he has BOXES of notebooks of his writing) will come out at interesting times and he’ll spend HOURS snatched between being Dad and Husband to scratch things done.

    And my best writing is often done in the shower.

    Life will open a new chapter and you’re writing euphoria will come back. And meanwhile, you are writing right HERE. And well, we like that.

  • I am so proud of you.

  • This is so great, and I hope there will be a release of the recording, so we can all pretend we were there (I for one, would NOT have been playing chess during your set. Just saying.) It is such a thrill to reconnect with those left-by-the-wayside talents/experiences from the Years. Before. Children, and I’m thrilled that you had this night. And, by the way, the new dress? Gorgeous. You look GREAT.

  • Anoria:

    I see “The Tao of Physics” and two copies of “Watchmen”. I’d like to get a look around this store.

    Do you ever get the urge to write songs anymore? Or is there just too much else to do?

  • You need to promote future performances. I’ll show up and whoop and holler during the performance. That’s what I do, especially if I really like a song.

  • Stacey from Iowa:

    Love you in that dress! So pretty!

  • Although I don’t think it’s quite accurate to phrase it this way, at least you can say, “Once I had…” Sometimes I feel like the only thing I’ve ever really done is be a wife and mother and I have this longing for all the things I’ve never done. But as you said, “I don’t think about it very much because there are all these other things in my life instead. And my life is very full and very good.” I wouldn’t change a thing if I could. I would still get married young, still choose to be a stay at home mom, but sometimes I wonder about what I could have done instead. Then I realize I could still do those things.

    Your music is a wonderful gift. It may not be the main focus of your life right now, but never give it up entirely. I really think you have a talent worth sharing. I know I’ve enjoyed your songs and I would drive 3 hours to hear you sing.

    • Jenni – you are such a sweetheart.

  • Peter:

    I recall all your songs from the Songwriter’s Circle a hundred or so years ago. I think this was before all the little ones came along (not so little anymore!), and your songs and the voice and…well…the feeling of it all…was something very strong and real and extremely original. I remember thinking back then that you would go far–or at least that you could, if you wanted. You chose a path I can understand and relate to, and it’s an incredibly fine one. But don’t forget Nancy Drew always had another mystery or two up her sleeve, if she ever wanted an adventure!
    (and thanks Forrest for directing me to Rechelle’s cool blog)