If I had to choose three of my songs to try and sum up my life so far in a book, I think I can confidently choose "Don't Mess With Me," off my Lucky Tonight album which exemplifies how you don't know who you're messin' with half the time, you don't know where someone has been, so you gotta watch out.
—Romi Mayes, Winnipeg musician
Award winning alt blues and country musician Romi Mayes knows how to use words. Just this past year, one of her songs won the award for Songwriter of the Year at the Western Canadian Music Awards. In fact, it's her third win in that category.
Being a wordsmith, it's fitting that on Thursday, March 1, Mayes is performing a concert in benefit of the Manitoba Writer's Guild. It takes place at the St. Boniface Museum at 7:00 PM.
This whole situation got us thinking here at SCENE. If Mayes wrote a book, which of her songs would tell her life story so far?
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Ironically, I have been working on a book on and off for the last handful of years, but I can't write the title at this time since I respect CBC and its listeners/readers too much! It's not exactly a G rated title... If I ever do finish it, I'll proudly tell CBC but until then, I'll try and keep a little grace in my answer.
Now let's see... if I had to choose three of my songs to try and sum up my life so far in a book, I think I can confidently choose "Don't Mess With Me," off my Lucky Tonight album which exemplifies how you don't know who you're messin' with half the time, you don't know where someone has been, so you gotta watch out.
I'm not pretending I'm the toughest 5'5" gal you've ever met, and I most definitely lean on the peaceful side of life but if pushed, I think you would regret getting on my bad side.
Another one of the three songs I would probably choose for the book on my life would be "I Won't Cry" from my Achin' In Yer Bones album which is a sweet l'il tune about break ups... and I've had a few of those, for sure. After a while you learn not to let that stuff break you in half. It's just love and then you move on.
Sometimes I wish I would cry more but there are some theories that once you have cried a certain amount in life, you have no more tears left to weep. Perhaps that's true in my case. I guess we'll find out in time when the next disaster strikes.
And the other song I would probably choose to help sum up the book of my life would be "Hard Road" off of Achin' In Yer Bones album. I have spent well over the last decade trying to balance home and family life and my career on the road. It hasn't been easy, to say the least, and I suspect that challenge won't get any easier with time.
Folks think we show up at the gig ready to rock and that's our job and we're so fortunate to be living the dream. For the most part, they are right, I guess.
The stage is where I feel like I'm just having fun... but it's the rest of the travel day from city to city, hotel to hotel, soundcheck to soundcheck. It's the months before the tour of planning and booking, the promotions, the constant marketing, the admin work, etc... But most importantly it's leaving the ones you love behind to go out and do it. That's what we do all the time and that's what inspired the song "Hard Road."
So what does this tell us? I guess my book would be called Don't Mess With Me on The Hard Road cuz I Won't Cry? Probably not... but those truths would run throughout the novel for sure.