Dina Hall and I slapped together a fine hour set for this afternoon’s Godfrey’s at Liederplatz for Musikfest. We followed a good set from Kris and Juli Kehr.
Dina and I decided to do small, two songs sets, and the pace was perfect.
An hour is not that much, especially when we had a bunch of folks sitting in, but with some planning, the flow went really well. I started with July, a solid folky number with Ansel and Kris on harp and bass, and Juli added some classy vocals. We followed with It’ll Be Me, slow blues in noire – black and white, with Ansel and now Andy adding leads on harp and guitar. I introduced Dina who did Five and Dime with Ansel, Kris and Andy. She followed with September Moon, a slow and romantic song, with Andy, Ansel, Kris, and now Moe on djembe.
I soloed with Lessons from Pete, and did perhaps my best version yet. I got to mention the time I asked Pete to be on GD’s board as an honorary board member. I decided to go for the jugular and do Smokin’ Babies with Kris and Ansel. I’m not sure how it went over, but we played it strong, and my daughter Rosalie was thrilled that I played it. It’s her favorite song.
I handed it over quickly to Dina who Round and Round, a solid folk-rock tune with full band and followed that with a John Prine tune with John Hufford on vocals, pulled back and subtle.
There was about 8 minutes left so I jumped in with Dixie Chicken, a good jam tune with space for everyone. It turned out quite well. The audience dug it (a few hippie youths recognized it) and was a great vehicle for spotlights for every one, including Kris on bass. Everybody stepped up and so did the tune, with a great dynamic push at the end. Dina and I really nailed the final chorus and vocal scat at the end, a very signature riff, and along with the instrumental doubling, we really drove the tune home. We also finished exactly on time. Snap!
It was the first time we had played it together. But that’s the beauty of these gigs. Great sound and stage, intelligent audience, beautiful acoustic brick court yard, and musicians and friends who listen first and respond with incredible artistry.
As we finished, I asked Dina if it was okay to end without the penciled-in It’s All Right, a bona fide set-ender of hers, and she graciously said no. Dixie Chicken was the proper ending to the set. More and more I respect the professional common sense of my good friends, especially Dina. We know when it’s a good show, and what to do to make it happen, and when to end it.
I was glad to meet with many old friends and see many other friendly faces in the audience. I was particularly glad to put together a first class folk music show for the home town crowd and for Godfrey’s supporters, volunteers and staff. And, especially, to have my daughter, Rosalie, in the audience. Did I say, nice weather?
I chatted with Jeff, the drummer from Steppin’ Out!, et al, and a very close friend. He said that I’m playing better than ever (he would know), in spite of creeping senility and infirmity. I agree. Cool.