Once I opened the door to songwriting, it was as if the floodgates burst. I started writing songs all the time. Some were horrible and were quickly forgotten but some were quality and I still play them from time to time when I pick up a guitar. One thing I learned as I began my songwriting phase is that when you write a song, you want someone to hear it! I wanted an ear to listen to what I had to say. The songs I was writing were conveying emotions, stories, my heart was being poured out and I needed someone to catch it.
At first I would play songs for friends who would take the time to listen, but as the months went on I wanted to take them to a broader audience. I started playing at a church on Sunday mornings with some friends. We would do some worship songs and as a thank you the pastor would take us out for milkshakes. These types of things broadened my spectrum about who else at my campus played and sang and through that I learned about places where I might be able to play.
I kept writing so I had a repetoire of decent songs that I thought people would enjoy, but I also learned a few cover songs that people would recognize. My first year in college came to a close and I had yet to play a show but I knew I would be ready when the fall came. That summer while I was home in Maryland I continued to write and I began to play some solo songs during youth group as special music. I would bring my guitar and sing songs for my hometown friends to get their feedback. My confidence in my songs and my voice grew and finally the summer drew to close and I went back to Florida ready to share my music with the college scene.
I was able to schedule a few gigs around Lakeland and to my surprise people came. Not just my close friends, but people I didn’t know! Most of the times there were a few different acts playing so I started off opening up the shows and I tried to include friends (playing bongo’s or singing with me) but as time went on I was pushed back later in the show’s lineup until finally I was the closing act a few times. People actually stayed through all the other singers to hear me. I was ecstatic. Songs continued to be written, I had inspirating coming in from all areas and I was enjoying the singer/songwriter life.
Then one night a few of us guys got together to jam. It sounded good, we blended together well, we planned another night to play together, and in the back of all of our minds we started thinking about band names…