It has been ages since I stepped onstage alone—literally decades—but when a colleague invited me to put together a singer-songwriter act for a venue he books, for some reason I said yes. I’m not sure I was fully aware until I started putting together the show what a gift it has been to work with so many talented players and singers over the years. These musicians consistently take the burden of performance away from me, or at least share the load. That lone spotlight can be awfully hot, I am coming to recall. So I have been shedding like crazy. Come January 16, I’ll be playing and singing 16 songs on piano, guitar and five-string banjo at the BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown, Maryland. I’m a little nervous, but I’m trying to experience that nervousness as excitement, and as an opportunity to revisit a lot of songs that I wrote and tucked away for some future date. That date is nigh. If you’re in the area, you can find tickets at