Although I've had a lot of nice feedback on the new album, sales are dismal and the thought of gigging that material seems a bit daunting. It's just too eccentric for any but the nerdiest music fans. It's probably better just to put it out on the internet. It's too demanding for an unfamiliar listener.
Last year I did some solo cover gigs at a local bar. They paid well, but it quickly got dull on account of the material. (I did lots of pop and a few country tunes from the 60s and 70s.) So I know I can do a long night's worth of cover songs, but I need them to be songs I find interesting and challenging, and it seems like in the last couple of years, I've finally got to a point where I can manage jazz standards somewhat, songs like I Cover the Waterfront, Lazy Bones, Don't Get Around Much Anymore, etc. These songs are much harder to learn and perform than Johnny Cash or Elton John numbers. But I did quite a few at Kerrville this year and people really liked them. After about a quarter century of study, I'm beginning to feel comfortable with the harmonic complexity of the Great American Songbook. (Newsflash, American songs have been devolving musically since the 1940s.)
Here's a recording of me doing Smoke Gets In Your Eyes with just my guitar.
I contacted a cocktail lounge in St. Louis today. I need to get my promotional materials together, but at least I made one booking inquiry. I'm feeling hopeful that this could be an approach that would work for me, in terms of both generating some scratch and not becoming a drag. I would learn a lot and get a lot better on the guitar if I was maintaining a repertoire of, say 100 standards, up to my own performance specs.
I'm feeling in a rut lately. I think this is a good goal.