At rehearsal with Windhaven last night I had an epiphany. Victoria suggested that we try my song “This Old Dawg”, so we gave it a go. I didn’t really know what to play, so I started playing the song’s bass riff on my 12-string acoustic. Doug jumped in on the congas, and Victoria joined in with maracas and a shaker, and joined me with vocal harmonies during the chorus. All I can say about it is “wow”. “This Old Dawg” came to life for Windhaven in a way it never did on my original recordings. I could hear this song on contemporary radio right alongside Jack Johnson and John Mayer. Holy crap. This sounded so good that it’s made me reappraise what might be possible with Windhaven.
We are not an acoustic band, I don’t think. It says a lot that when I was talking to the event organizer for this weekend’s Covington Park gig and mentioned that, while our old band was kaput, we have an acoustic trio, it was met with immediate resistance. He heard the word “acoustic” and thought Folk music and hippie consciousness. But he went to our web site while we were talking and discovered that we’re very different, indeed. That got me to thinking that maybe Windhaven should drop the word “acoustic” altogether.
Anyway, I’ve had my eyes opened by the power of “This Old Dawg” and our noodlings on April Smith’s “Terrible Things”, and my assumptions changed by having an organizer stumble over the word “acoustic”. Windhaven is many things, and represents many possibilities that cannot be defined by the terminology we’ve been using. We are not what people think of when they think of the word “acoustic”.
We tried a few different phrases, from “Gypsy Folk” to “Folk Fusion”, but wound up feeling kind of allergic to the word “folk”. What I finally stumble across was “Indie Acoustic Fusion”. Yeah, it still has the word “acoustic” in it, but “indie” and “fusion” actually describes the sounds of Windhaven. Leaving in the “acoustic” keeps us from sounding like a collection of twenty-somethings. “Indie Acoustic Fusion” kind of describes the sound of Windhaven.
I’m looking forward to seeing where this road leads us with Windhaven. From all indications, we’re not going to wind up remotely where we thought we would. We’re going to be in a much more interesting place.