I like your thinking Sharon. I feel that there is always a tension between who we feel we are and who other people think we are, tempered by how we have promoted ourselves. Having reinvented myself in my career several times, I worked at becoming known as the guy who "." which then pigeonholed me and made it somewhat difficult to gain credibility as the next 'me'. There is also a challenge between building up a following, who eventually become a real or imagined demanding following that you feel responsible for. When I was studying music, it was drummed in that you have to be 'that guy'. If people see your name they need to know what lane you are in and if they hear you, you want instant recognition. You can't be the jazz guy and the country/Americana guy, unless you are prepared to start again almost from scratch. Not a major if the creation is what you get the most pleasure out of, but it is a problem if you also want it to be your livelihood. I remember one of the leading lights of ASCAP decrying self-indulgent song-writers. He wasn't criticizing them specifically, but he was from the perspective of being able to make a healthy musician plying that trade. I remember thinking in his workshop, "Oh shit is that me?" Then I thought, that is also Bob Dylan. Then I remembered how much I hated going to a Dylan show, when he played all his usual songs, but they were now reggae, and I didn't like it. He disenfranchised me and many of his loyal fans, and found that he had to go back to his roots if he wanted to keep making a living.

Bottom line, if you can afford it, do 'you', and when you feel you have changed, do that 'you'.

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