I headed up a block (how local can you get?) to the Farmers’ Mkt. up at Lehigh’s Campus Square. Another gray day, but warm enough to play. Normally I have to put up with the water fountain behind me (white noise), but today’s ambiance added, yes, jackhammers….. your local stimulus infrastructure funding at work. I had several Jack additions (Hit the Road, Jack was especially appropriate.) and we got to savor the quiet moments.
Again, several small groups of challenged folks came by, and they stretched me to do a very nice Folsom Prison (with all the low notes…) and some other country hits. They played tambourines and we sang together. As Soap Man (appreciative vendor) said later, this market has a community function beyond the veggies, cookies and popcorn. It is a mix of Lehigh folks (teachers and students) and vital community groups that use and share the public space. Over the summer, several day cares, moms and kids, special needs groups and other folks drop by, and I play and interact with them.
I graduated from Lehigh in 1973, having moved into town to live, and play folk music in the SouthSide community. I’ve always wondered why Lehigh folks don’t interact more with the neighboring town scape, (I obviously founded Godfrey’s on this assumption). That’s why I’ve ‘invested’ in this Market, beyond the small funding they provide. This remains a great opportunity for that.
I get back artistically a whole bunch from these gigs. I get to play hard and loud as a solo, tightening up my whole presentation, I get to revive some old tunes (I did Louise and Ophelia today, after a long time) that end up sounding better than ever. I get to play my favorites, and play my nice instruments.
But it still boils down to bringing live music to my neighborhood, in the best way I can, taking it to the streets around me.