Serendipity ruled today. I was scheduled for a family concert at The Flo Gris Museum in Old Lyme at 2 pm. I then learned that the monthly Old Orchard Barn open mike was starting at 12 noon in nearby East Lyme. Ron Anthony has been crowing about this friendly jam for months, and, now that I live in PA, it turned out that I could do both. Tour!
The barn gig is run by Bruce and Mary as an acoustic get-together in a comfy barn with sound system and lots of new faces (for me). Since I had a 2 pm gig, I signed up second, which means I went first after Bruce’s set. Vegetable Song is a good opener, and a fellow seated at the keyboards whipped out his sax and did admirably. A surprise for us both. I followed with It’ll be Me, slow blues, and the keyboard player got on board. Followed with Pay Bo Diddley, with keys, drums, harp, and it was nice. I got an extra song, so I did July, with keys and sing along. A small crowd of brand new faces, so it was cool to do my stealth appearance. But, more importantly, got to see real community in action… kids, food, music on a cold February afternoon. …and see my friend Ron Anthony again…..
I headed out to the Griswold Museum, one of my favorite museums in the world – in really small town, and yet still a world-class place. A former impressionists’ arts colony, old house, education center, gardens, and modern museum building. I played in a small room in the back of the center that overlooked the marshes and river that the artists painted a century ago.
It turned out to be a family show and was a hoot. Nice acoustic space (no PA, yea!) and families, a nice elder couple, so I ‘aimed low’ with lots of interactive and familiar tunes to engage the kids. All in all, it was spot on and all had a great time. but for two ladies who left midway…..
This is the cool part of the trip. The museum director came in after the show and was very enthused with the event, and mentioned that the two ladies who left early were retired Kindergarten teachers who decided they didn’t really want to go through this kids’ stuff again. I chuckled in agreement.
I packed up and took in the exhibit “Ism’s” (cubism, classicalism, naturalism, etc.), and as I wandered the gallery, I ran into these two women seated on a bench. Armed with the knowledge that I had subjected these women to the bane of their former employment (“no, no, not Old MacDonald”…), I approached them and offered my apologies. We had a great chat about this humorous situation, kids, music, adult music in bars, family, etc. They wondered if I was playing any ‘serious gigs’, but PA is a long way to go. They made my day, and I told them so.
Quite the trek, but I made some money (but no CD sales….), met and surprised new folks and made it home safely. Not bad for a Sunday in February.