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Vance does Bolivia, California, and Learns Stuff

Hey VanceFan!

Here’s where I’ll be:

Saturday, 10/19 Brunswick Community College Bolivia, NC W/SUSAN WERNER

Thursday 10/24 Mendocino, CA Private House Concert for info buzz Lorie at

Saturday 10/26 Thousand Oaks, CA Scherr Forum Theatre Opening for Paul Reiser

Sunday 10/27, Los Angeles - House Concert on Everglade Street - more info to follow in next mailer

Upcoming - Flying Goose Pub NH 11/7, Granby CT 11/15, and World Cafe Philly 11/22
Stuff -

December Private Holiday Parties are getting booked up. 12/8, 12/16, and 12/20 are gone, 2 more pending. You better get you a date and soon. Man, am I fun at these...

Those Holiday Parties, Coaching of songwriting, performance, voice, private parties, goldfish combing available upon request.

The CD “Good Good Man” is here, although not officially released until Jan 20th (streaming and download then too). But sure, you can get you one.
• Buy from me at a show
• Buy from me directly - via PayPal to
• Buy from me directly via check for anything between $10 - $20 and up to Vancefunder P.O. Box 17 Arlington, MA 02476
• **If your name is on the CD, you’re a friend, family member, promoter, radio/podcast personage, cash strapped, or anyone else that thinks they should just have one, send me your address again and Seriously, just ask for one and I’ll send it.**


He had a high voice. I don’t recall his name, as it was a while ago. So I’ll call him Del.

It was in a performance instruction class of mine. I don’t like to call it critique, as that sounds negative and so one-way. But I do have folks perform in front of me on a microphone and I take a good close look at all they do - patter, lyrics, mic technique, even plugging in the guitar. My goal is to streamline any performer’s stage technique so that they are effective and their story gets told with as little stage “encumbrance” as possible.

I start my classes with a disclaimer. I say something to the effect that:

1) singing solo is a physical full body event. I may ask to adjust the person in front of the mic for guitar, head, shoulder.
2) My class is a safe place to work and explore your music, and I appreciate all in class to working to maintain the safe atmosphere I attempt to create.
3) We are all doing this as we are entertainers, so what I do playing and teaching I will endeavor to make all-entertaining, so things I say in the name of comedy or being self effacing or global swipes at- well - the globe, are just that. I mean no “-ist” harm to any group, and,
4) I endeavour for my language and actions to treat folks equally unless your needs - male, female, whomever, as dictated by you, leave me to comment or suggest otherwise. Thank You.

So once a person starts to play, I might ask them to change keys, use a capo, whisper, play less guitar, play *no* guitar, use a pick, lose the pick, stop singing and speak the lyric, rush, sit back - I ask a myriad of things in my attempt to make the performance more effective.
This man’s voice was so high. And it was shattery, like a glass sledgehammer.

So I asked. “Do you customarily sing so high? Could we capo the guitar so that it was in a slightly lower register?” Del took a breath and told the story. He’s a trans man, that way for the better portion of 10 -12 years, and this is where his voice has been.

Look at me, with the vocal value judgements, left to check in with my own self. Was the voice just a shock to my gender-ignorant prejudice self as it came out of this man’s visual being. Yeah, I think so, some. But you know what? It was indeed ringing, hi-timbered, and it was a shock, and also not particularly dulcet. Now, neither are the voices of John Prine or Lucinda Williams the most bell-clear and soothing of vocal instruments. There I go again with the vocal value judgements. But they are effective. Del’s voice, being where it was, was still not effective singing. So we split the difference with the capo on the guitar, and got a really listenable sound from him.

He thanked me for making a reasonably safe place to say and be who he was and to continue working. I thanked him for not shaming me and my still-learning self. I love performance instruction. Particularly when I have so much to learn.

Mind if a share a pretty magnificent model plane thing with you here? It’s maybe how I define Peace and Majesty:

Epic Rubber-Powered Flight by 48" Vickers Nene at Wawayanda -10.5.19

I do music so that I can do this so I can do music. Peace to you all….vg