A homecoming, of sorts. I was invited to be a guest in Touchstone’s Christmas Follies, now in its 13th year. It’s a wonderful mix of holiday shorts, songs, skits, improv’s and some touching moments and lots of laughter. My friend, Bill George is in the cast, and we toured as fellow Touchstone members in the 80’s, and acted in one of Bill’s plays in the 90’s. (Haunting at 904 – totally without dialog – was that a stretch for me).
My set was to be at the end of the 1st set, as part of local TV interview show. The topic was a new fest in Bethlehem, a Fest Fest, and I was asked to propose a new fest. We talked about under-served communities and the arts, so I suggested the prison population. I introduced Blind Lame Cripple, put on my shades, and lo, the man was back in town. He proceeded to render a killer version of Santa Assassin. It was a hoot.
There is a back story. Blind Lame Cripple, the master of the Monocasy Delta Blues, was re-discovered in Northampton Co. Prison in the folk scare of the late 70’s and appeared at Godfrey Daniels on occasion. John Gorka, undergraduate at Moravian at the time, got him a gig at the college’s folk night. Interestingly, one of the college’s arts dept.’s wanted to invite him out for dinner beforehand, but Blind declined. The prison bus schedule would not allow it.
Blind was famous for his brief novelty hit on a 78, Child Molestin’ Blues, and sported his signature guitar Beulah, a beat-up Kaye guitar in his signature ‘almost’ tuning.
Saturday’s show at Touchstone was his first this century, and only blocks from his legendary gigs down 4th Street 30 years ago.