I struggle mightily with perfectionism (reminder: perfectionism does not make things perfect – it’s an extreme form of emotional stuttering)

Cheffing around in the Burnt Food Museus an extreme case of emotional stuttering).

But my word of the year is RELEASE.

So this is my new journey.  The journey towards creating recordings I’m satisfied with – and releasing them – and I’m right at the beginning of that journey.

I want to share two of my first steps with you.  Two of the first sketches I’ve recorded of a newish tune, so I’ve embedded them below for you to hear.

The song is called “Sous Chef,” it’s a blues – one of the Blues I’ll sing at my “Lose Your Blues” show later this month — and it’s really fun to sing – especially when you’re cooking . In concert the audience often yells their own racey lyric suggestions to me.  Some of those lines probably even made it into the song  — so if you hear something you shouted out, my undying thanks!

Here’s how I wrote the tune:

As some of you may know, I’m no great cook.  In fact, I’m founder and curator of the Burnt Food Museum

But my husband loves to cook, and I love being useful.  So one day a year or so ago, when I was in the kitchen chopping a red-pepper into ¼”-to-½”-slices-but-don’t-make-them-too-thin-and-don’t-obsess-about-the-width, I just started singing this song.

I blurted out the first two lines, because it just says exactly how I was feeling — and the rest of the first verse stumbled over them a few minutes later. The other verses took time – some lines, like I said, were shouted out from the audience and stuck, and some of them came the usual way of juggling truth and language together until lyrics fall out.

These are early sketches – I’m still trying to find the right tempo, the right voice.  I’m still working on the words for the ‘talking interlude’ — so you’ll hear me blathering out some stuff there just to show myself what talking would sound like there.

In the first one, I’m exploring how to sing ‘like myself’ only a little less … um … “Broadway.” You’d think it would be easy to sing like yourself, but I only feel ‘like myself’ when I’m actually on stage, so trying to do that in a recording studio is still and exploration for me.  (Note: there are two audio embed files here – but sometimes they take a little while to show up)

In the second one I’m trying to sound like Marilyn Monroe.

I’m not looking for criticism or applause or feedback or suggestions on these.  I’m just sharing my own journey towards eventual creative satisfaction.

But I would love to know if it’s helpful to read about this journey … and if it’s fun to listen to the sketches.


This is part of my “Blues Blog” Post Series in preparation for my Sat. Jan. 26, 2013 “Lose Your Blues” show at The Center for Arts in Natick, MA.

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