It's like riding a bike...
Of course, you can still fall off.
I recently joined with my old mates in the Headlights at a rehearsal for our upcoming reunion show at the Largo Cultural Center on Saturday, Feb 9th, and although it was great to play with them again, it became apparent that I'm a little out of fighting shape.
There were a few chord changes going awry, and the occasional lyric that eluded me, which I suppose is understandable since it's been a couple of years since I sang the songs. More jarring though, was the physical side of it. After a couple of hours, my left hand began to cramp up on me and I had trouble gripping the fretboard. By the end of the evening the hand looked like something from Curse Of The Black Claw.
Then there's the vocal cords issue. I mean, I knew it'd be a bit of a strain -- singing hard and trying to make yourself heard over a plugged-in band is, after all, a far different thing that sitting by yourself in front of a microphone in the relative hush of your home studio -- but it was perhaps a little worse than I expected. Although I didn't quite sing myself hoarse, there was enough strain to ensure that when I awoke the next morning, my speaking voice sounded a little like a cross between Tom Waits and Barry White.
I'm hopeful that another rehearsal will help me toughen up a bit, so I can be in fine voice for the show. If not, at least there'll be an opportunity to do that "Downtown Train/Can't Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe" medley that I've always wanted a crack at.