Mystics Anonymous is playing another show on December 7 at The Basement in Northampton, MA. To prepare, we’re adding a few songs to the set, and one of the interesting things about doing that is that some of these songs have never been played live, and I have no memory of how to play them. So first, I have to sit down and learn my own songs (“What was that chord again? Is it major or minor?”), and then we can arrange and rehearse our version.
Songs take on new meaning depending on their context. Playing acoustic guitar alone in the studio in the middle of the night, a song sounds so intimate and has an almost secret life. Playing them in a room with a band, they are exposed to the light, and there they bloom into something else (the thorns can also become more apparent). Add an audience, and it’s another song altogether.
It’s so great to hear musicians bring themselves to a song. All the little (and big) touches that change the song’s impact are what make it fun to play in a band. Brian’s drumming takes advantage of the space, Matt’s guitar playing chooses moments to raise its hand and exclaim something, and Andy’s bass playing locks it all together in a way that sounds effortless but I know is not.
All of this is what I’m experiencing with the song Maudlin You Liar, a track from the Winsted in the Space Room album. On the album, I play all of the instruments, and as a lo-fi home studio recording, it works. You can listen to it here:
Next, come to the show, and hear the live band version. You won’t be disappointed.