This festival in Macungie is a world-class auto show, with amazing vintage cars covering a PA community park. I used to live a few miles away, and this weekend always had a stream of amazing cars just touring the country roads in my area.
They book lots of local blues, rockabilly, soul bands from the area on the main stage, but have a nice kids area where my soul-buddies also perform – today was my good friend and juggler (and guitar student) Al Grout and his son Bobbie. He had a good crowd, especially for a Friday afternoon. Al is good on many levels: great dexterity, fine magic, but has a patter that is very, very hip for adults. I never tire of even the routine jokes because they are simply smart.
Al was a former middle school teacher and, during our chat, we talked about maintaining control of the audience, and how we, as performing artists work on that.
Working with middle school kids seems to be as tough as it gets, and should be required training for teaching artists. Actually, I do work with those kids with RockRoots, and it is as hard as it gets (used to be…)
I played my set with the sound man, three kids of the lady that booked me, and two ladies. The kids knew my stuff (in fact, requested songs off my CD that I haven’t memorized…shame) and so, we simply played together. Of all the gigs I’ve played in recent memory, this was, per capita, a really fat gig. But I really had to work for it, to play with and for the kids, and still play to the ladies on the bench.