Godfrey’s celebrated the 35th Anniversary Weekend at Trinity Church on the Northside of Bethlehem with its John Gorka Members Concert. A true Gala, with dessert buffet, silent auction, quilt raffle, two sets of John Gorka (with Russ Rentler sitting in), Ansel Barnum on atmospheric Market Street harp, and me.
So much work by so many great folks who care so much about Godfrey’s and the power and support for our folk music community. Sound, promo, radio, newspapers, art work, computer work, schlepping, raffle, coffee, cleanup, etc. And the fact that John Gorka knows that we’re are special.
As I walked up on stage to open the evening, I reflected on the fact there were 230 plus Godfrey’s supporters in the audience: very familiar old friends, familiar older faces, and a whole bunch of new folks. My, what a great gathering!
I opened with Giants, Shoo That Fly and cranked it up on some tunes with Ansel. so fine…
I yielded to Ansel for a solo piece and he did a wonderful medley of two Civil War tunes. It was a magic moment in so many ways. Dina Hall was outside the hall at the time and pasted this: “Ya know I was outside awhile, your music flowed out onto beautiful Market Street. What a warm feeling. It was very cool.” Many levels to this music. Ansel commented on his history with GD’s and it was nice to have an ’emerging’ artist reflect on his connection with our faithful. Farewell to Ashocken turned out to be special in that it was written by Jay Ungar, who played GD’s in the first month of GD’s opening.
I did Prine’s Far From Me to lend some immediacy to my own situation and was a big leap for me, and was accepted as such amongst friends. We rocked out with Bo Diddley.
I introduced John to a very loving crowd, and he did what he does so well: connect with folks with his songs, his voice, his humility and his grace. John Gorka truly continues to embody the best of what Godfrey’s is what about, and I am proud to have him as a friend.
My daughter Rosalie was in town for the experience, and it was so nice to have her experience the experience. It’s part of her community, now. and again.
so much to digest. a wonderful experience.