My first Christmas gig of the year – earlier than usual, but who’s surprised at that? It was at the Christmas fair developed my Musikfest (Arts Quest, not), usually beneath the Hill to Hill Bridge near old Moravian. It’s now moved to the Steel Stack area under a big ‘tent’ with heaters, fine artisans and food. It’s laid out well, with a big stage and sound, tables for eating, etc. I’ve played most of these over the years and mix in Celtic mandolin tunes with kids songs, Christmas songs and carols. I have good luck with the kids, moms and grandmoms, and did so today, though it was sparse, as expected.
One girl was wearing her Christmas dress (for a picture with Santa), and played tamborine along. A really nice moment happened, as she moved to towards the stage, independantly stepping away from mom and grandmom. She caught her shadow in front of her and started dancing with it, with no self-conscientiousness, at all. I pointed it out to her family as it happened. Beautiful.
I toured the artisan stalls during my break and struck up conversations with the arts, and, as I passed by the Santa scene, I was surprised to hear, “Hello, Dave Fry.” I looked around to volunteers, shoppers, etc., and then realized it was Santa, himself, saying hello to me. How cool is that? He’s still knows who I am.
The gig ended in a strange way, in that a gentleman volunteer came up and asked if I knew about Barber Shop Music, and I explained, indeed, my father loved it, and he had a great voice himself. After some small talk, he suggested I find out more about, and dropped a comment about perhaps using the experience to help my singing. Hmmm. I commented back that folkies can get away with singing like me.
I know exactly where this is coming from – trying to cover songs that the whole world knows how to sing, or, at least, how they’re supposed to be sung. I do some real traditional carols, and have worked up some nice variations, but I know I’m not ‘right on’ with all the notes. Especially in November. My comfort zone is tight. He was right about loose tunes.
Tomorrow, a cruise back to CT for a concert postponed from last month’s snow storm in North Haven. I’m looking forward to doing songs in my comfort zone again.