Backing up a bit: As luck would have it, I had made the brilliant move of leaving my coat at home yesterday, assuming the 80+ degree weather from Tuesday would continue. The 20+ degree temperature drop and high winds caught me by surprise, to say the least. Thus I woke with the predictable sore throat and stuffy nose that usually heralds the start of a cold. I downed vitamin C drops by the handful, drank hot tea, and generally thought anti-cold thoughts. So by the time I arrived at The Mint I was still sniffling but not feverish or incapacitated.
I chose to start with "Holding Back the Years" by Simply Red, which I've sung frequently and figured would not present a challenge. Unfortunately the mix I chose ended up being in a lower key than I expected. I don't get why so many songs have two different versions in the Mint songbook; it's a pain if I don't remember which is in the "right" key. But I struggled through reasonably well.
Then I figured what the hell, I might as well try a song I'd never performed live but had practiced at home, "Home" from The Wiz. I normally avoid Broadway tunes at karaoke because they're always in the wrong key, but this one I had figured out that I wanted four steps down from the original. I would have preferred to just tell the DJ (or "KJ" I guess) the actual key I wanted, but the one time I tried that he said "I'm not a music major; just tell me how many steps up or down." So I put *4 STEPS DOWN* on my song card and hoped that the song in the machine was in the same key as in my vocal selections book.
Hope faded quickly as I stepped up to the mic, the intro music began, and I had no friggin idea what my starting note was. Luckily the KJ bailed me out by singing the first few notes until I could continue on my own. Nope, four steps down was definitely not the right choice. If my voice weren't lowered from the proto-cold, I might not have been able to hit the lowest notes at all. Again, I struggled through OK, but got out of the bar pretty quickly after I was done.
Oh well, hopefully I'll redeem myself next time. It is just a karaoke bar after all, but a lot of the Mint regulars are really good, and I have sung at public and even paid gigs in the past, so I have some stake in how I sound.