17. July 2014
The Purpose of a Singer-Songwriter
By J.P. Kallio
I’m sitting on the stage in the Porterhouse. It’s only 45 mins to Sliotar‘sSaturday night set. I’ve set up my equipment and I am strumming my guitar, just for myself. The house sound system is on and playing whatever is on the play list. I’ve learned how to tune it out of my head, all I can hear is my guitar and my voice.
I had been a bit under the weather for a few days, but I was on my way back now. I missed the feeling of the strings under my fingers as I press them against the fretboard. It’s the one thing that is constant, it’s the one thing I control and it controls me. I sing a song quietly on my own. I am not trying to impress any one, I am just doing it for myself.
The calluses on my fingertips are rock hard. Over twenty-five years of pressing those strings day in and day out has made sure of that. It’s like there is this strange triangle. In one corner is me, the humble man, flesh and blood, nothing more. In one corner is my guitar, a trusted and dear friend, and in the third corner is my songs. They seem to have a life of their own. I need to turn up to write them, but they are there. And I think they are there all the time. I just don’t see them all the time. I need to allow myself to see them, and I try almost every day. And in most days something comes out, sometimes it’s a struggle. I feel I am just a vehicle for these songs and I was put on this earth to sing and “write” them. I feel it’s my duty; it’s something I must do. But at the same time I love it.
In my foolish youth I saw the fame and admiration through rose-tinted glasses. But with age I learned that the songs were what all this was about. I can see how they can touch people, give them hope. I can see they serve a purpose, which is far greater than my mind can comprehend.
So with my open heart I give you my songs. And all I ask in favor is that you take them in with an open heart.
J.P. Kallio is a singer / songwriter