This is the third year of Godfrey’s First Night, an independent project now that the official FN Bethlehem bit the dust. Billed as three Generations of Godfrey’s, I usually kick off the evening with a family show, followed by my adult set. Jay Lapp, a young songwriter followed me with some nice songs/guitar work set. And Dina Hall followed him with her ever improving stage craft. I helped back her up on mandolin at the end of the night.
Since I knew I would be running late, I asked Dina to do couple of songs to hold the fort while I raced back from Allentown. I landed about 7:35, threw off my coat, asked Dina to park my car which was illegally in front of the club (boy, how rude is that to have some one open for you and then ask then to move your car….). There were familiar faces of families and kids waiting for me, so I launched into my improve set, feeding off some new stuff I had been working on, played in Allentown an hour before, as well as tunes the kids wanted.
My poor Martin was cold to the touch when I got it out of the case, and the two of us struggled the rest of the night to stay in tune. Not a friendly thing to do to your tools.
The family set was very much fun, interactive, and I broke out the banjo for the first time in several months. I finished and said I’d take five minutes and resume with my ‘adult’ set.
An interesting thing happened in that the families didn’t leave, so I had to balance my set with musically challenging songs, yet remember that there were kids in the audience. Upon reflection, it was a neat opportunity for all of us. The parents got to hear my musical craft on other songs in my repertoire, and the kids got to hear me play songs foreign to their ears, in a more serious concert atmosphere, and they all hung in there for the second set. It was perhaps a more gratifying experience for me that I would have expected.
Older folks had drifted in by now and settled in during my second set, so some folks got a taste of the kids and adult material. I love my job.
No fireworks at midnight, for the second year in a row. Not the New Year’s Eve I’m used to, but the quiet suits me fine now a day’s. I’m quite beat after three sets in the hot and cold. Hank Williams gig tomorrow.