The day finally arrived for the big concert after much anticipation on my part, and much work and love from a lot of my friends. The event was held at the Ice House on Sand Island, put together by Terry Mutchler who book Dave Bromberg and John Gorka, put together the sound, ticketing, promotion, silent auction, et al. Many folks stepped up and donated a Martin Guitar, an Irish harp, various pieces of art, restaurant gifts, etc. Harley Newman did a fire-eating exhibition outside before the show, Back Door Bakery fed the performers, Jack Murray designed a great poster, Mark Moss handled PayPal,…. and the list goes on.
The show sold out two days beforehand (300 seats), but we opened up the ‘balcony’ for an extra 35 seats. It was packed with friends.
I started the show and walked out to a standing ovation. That was pretty cool. Ansel came out to join me with Shoo That Fly and Jelly in the Dish. It was great to do Jelly with the audience picking up on all the verses. I read Lessons from Pete, and that nailed the philosophy part of the evening, and I got to talk about my afflictions, and thank folks.
For the last song, I talked about seeing Bromberg in my home town, and how the first Jerry Jeff Walker album was a mind bender for me (lead acoustic guitar???) and that I learned one tune still in my repertoire, Maybe Mexico, of of it. I asked David to come out and play it with me, which he agreed to do. It was very nice, and completion of a circle started 44 years ago.
I then introduced my good friend John Gorka and he he proceeded to sing a song, Dave Fry, Watta Guy, or something to that extent. a nice touch, though I couldn’t quite hear it from the wings. He proceeded to do a great set of favorites with his disarming vulnerability and charm, and that wonderful voice.
Bromberg came out after a break and did a great solo set, and he hasn’t been doing that much solo stuff recently. Besides being a great picker and entertainer, he has formitable chops as a folklorist, so he mixes in wonderful stories and historical context. Dehlia has always been one of my favorites, and he did it after I had talked to him about it back stage. He invited John to come up and play guitar with him for the end, and that was a treat for John, I know.
John and David did an encore People Get Ready, and walked off. Terry came back on and reintroduced me to another standing ovation. Powerful stuff that I will reflect on later. A peak experience and a great community event for a lot of friends. More later. Phew…