Dear folks and friends and family -
You can see on the right - where all the events are posted - that I am playing 3 shows with The Brothers Comatose at the end of this year. What you may not know is that I will be officially leaving the band as of January 1, 2014.
Jenny and I have been talking and struggling a lot with the decision over the last year, and after this last tour in September, things solidified. After Emmaline (the new baby) showed up on November 2nd, the decision was clearly affirmed.
I love playing music, you all know that.
I also love being out and about, adventuring, seeing new things, meeting new people and friends and - most of all - eating new foods. (If it wasn't for the Brothers Comatose on tour, I never would have had real southern barbeque; South Carolina barbeque sauce; chicken and waffles for breakfast; Chicago deep dish pizza... in Chicago; New York slices... in New York. This is not to mention the gorgeous home cooking we were fortunate enough to share on more than one delicious occasion.)
But food, adventures, and fun music notwithstanding, being away for so long - so often - has been too hard on me and the family.
After the September tour Stella (the first night I was home after 3 weeks away [after so many weekends and 5-10 day tours all summer long]) asked Jenny if I was going to be staying for dinner.
It took weeks to get her to trust that when I left for work, or for rehearsal, I would be coming home again. The relationship that we have is so fun - so centered on quality time, games, stories, and things that can't be duplicated or simulated long-distance - that I was really feeling, for the first time, the effects of the constant touring. Combine that with Stella's ability to communicate more precisely and directly exactly how much she missed me, and her fear of my leaving, and it put things into a very clear perspective.
There are so many other factors at play in a decision like this. Seeing the band that you're going to be leaving poised for such great things is a difficult thing to walk away from. Looking at their amazing tour schedule and knowing the good and great things that are still on the horizon for the band can be like a siren song some days. But even in the few short months since we've come to this decision, I can see and feel the warm goodness of our choice. I've gotten to be at every family function and see my parents, my brothers, my nieces and nephews, my friends from childhood and from other musical projects of days gone by. Jenny and I get to plan things together and spend weekends as a family.
I've gotten to really invest in this website and consider the musical and artistic possibilities of the future. I've gotten to look at the community I live in and make my plans for how to bring music and music education to the world around me in a meaningful way.
I've gotten to re-energize my beloved job at SV and build up some continuity and energy with my music students for the first time this year.
The mission to save the world has been rekindled, and that - of itself- is inspiring. Knowing that the first priority is family and not traveling makes the decisions easier and stronger. Jenny and get to plot ways to make music together - the dreams of the full family band (now that Emmaline is here) are growing and building. No longer are we just a power trio! We have entered Quartet land... and it feels very good.
It's a huge loss to step away from a fun band with good friends, but it is a net gain of infinite proportions to have my kid(s) [Emmaline isn't so aware of the great and momentous things going on, so much as she is aware of being hungry, and pooping a lot] know that I want to spend time with them first and foremost, and that my family trumps all other priorities.
It feels wonderful here at Team Benedetti headquarters, if a bit bittersweet and nostalgic for the good-ol-touring days at times. I will miss my family from the road, and I'll miss the big red van. But at least I won't be missing my wife and my daughters.
And that feels very good indeed.