But generally this kind of jobbing musicianship was painful. You are incidental, and few musicians aim to be incidental. Some nights I did two shows in a row, especially on Fridays, when I'd get through an afternoon gig for the rowdy, early-finish office workers and then dash across town in a taxi for a four-hour stint at one of the Irish hotels, which at the time dominated the pub scene. It meant a well-paid night, but seven hours of singing on your own in smoky rooms was a quick way to kill your passion for music.
A quick way to get it back was listening to James Taylor on the drive home, or better still at 2am when I was trying to relax with a beer. And one song in particular, now available in several versions on Youtube, and which in one live recording comes with this introduction from Taylor: "I was homesick at the time. I didn't have a home, but that doesn't keep you from being homesick sometimes."
Just as it did in my twenties, this song makes me want to go to Carolina. Or, convinces me that Carolina is home.
And, here, another wonderful song of Carolina.