“You’ve got a song you’re singing from your gut, you want that audience to feel it in their gut. And you’ve got to make them think that you’re one of them sitting out there with them too. They’ve got to be able to relate to what you’re doing.” -Johnny Cash
The latest in my series on great quotes. I only want to put up the best of the best. The ones that really move me. As an artist and performer, this quote really resonates. I can feel it and see it at shows. When I’m really making the connection, the audience is right there with me and it builds and builds. When I’m tired and don’t want to be there, or it’s just really the wrong kind of audience, that energy doesn’t happen. Nothing builds and nobody wins. Johnny’s quote is a great reminder to keep that connection going, that is part of my job, and part of my art. For a folk artist, especially, whether that is punk rock or bluegrass, we all have to be in it together.
And, if you really think about it, this applies to any conversation you have with anybody. Or any speech you make, or anytime you are really trying to connect with another person. or 100. They have to feel that you are in the same camp, or you aren’t going to get the same ear. So, what this means is that the first step is to listen to your audience. Not just with your ears, but, eyes, brains and gut. Try to feel where they are coming from and get into that groove. You have to have your boundries, though. You must be honest, don’t be a fake, or a sellout. It is dishonest and unsustainable.
Just a really great quote from Johnny Cash, with many levels to it. Got me all fired up. What’s your take?