I had my ‘adult’ show tonight at Liederplatz tonight at 5 pm in front of a smallish but attentive crowd. Not much in the sing-along side, but knowing that, I slashed through the set and didn’t lean too much on that part of the show. Ansel Barnum was along for the ride and he smoothed the way with his usual fine backup and leads. It’s nice to know that we form a thick sound together that works in these larger venues.
I called up a few tunes I haven’t done in a while, including Figure It Out, which was probably too obscure for this audience. Lessons From Pete was comfortable, finally. Ansel did a fine solo medley of Amazing Grace and William Tell Overture and blew the folks away.
My friend Bruce Gaston is a manualist and he showed up to do a mini set of ‘hand’ music, and he is always welcome at my shows. It is vaudeville at its best and fits in to the whole concept of what I’m trying to do. Take Me Out to the Ball Game was very cool.
The bizarre moment happened in the home stretch as I broke a D string, one of the strings in the middle of the fret board. Breaking a string always takes one out of the zone: you try to figure out what strings are still in tune, how to play around the bad ones, etc. Anyway, you try to go on as if nothing has happened and deal with the damage at the end of the song. Cover with chatter and keep the show rolling.
I was lucky to have Ansel on board to play a second instrumental while I changed my string. No big deal.
As it turned out, it was a big deal. The pin that holds the string in the saddle popped out and went who knows where. It was gone. I figured I had a spare in my pick pouch. Nope. I couldn’t get my guitar back to 6 strings. What to do?
I decided to take out the E string (treble) and use the pin from there to replace the D string (in the middle of the guitar) so that I could at least have 5 strings across the rhythm spectrum, and finish the set with a strong rhythm guitar. We did Pay Bo Diddley and wrapped up the set and got off stage.
I have to check my emergency pack again, so that this doesn’t reoccur.
Anyway, it was another fine opportunity to play my adult stuff at the major festival in my home town. My son Jaimie and his girl friend Alesha got to see me in action, so that’s cool. (That’s my dad…) These gigs are homecoming events for me, and help define myself in my home community.
I decided to stand for the whole hour and a half set, and it is a good thing to do, performance-wise, though I pay a price afterwards. My right hip takes a beating. But I get to move to the music and it’s always a better presentation if I’m up and about on a big stage like tonight. The energy is so much better for me and the audience. Basic theater. Strange to have to deal with this.
Back here on Sunday with Ansel, Dina, Kris for Godfrey’s day at MF.