I left central PA for the 2 year-old’s birthday party about 1:15 and headed back towards the Lehigh Valley. This party was at a log cabin from the early 1700’s back in the hills of Powder Valley, the home for Levi and his parents. It was a small gathering of four or five toddlers, their parents and Levi’s grandfolks. Stacey, the mom, set up some bales of hay in the yard and I set into playing fairly quickly, with some threatening clouds moving into the area.

I had played for Stacey and Levi at the Flint Hill Farm in the fall, and we really connected, especially with Levi’s first introduction to live music. I remember blogging about that particular moment then, and Stacey got in touch with me for Levi’s birthday party. Stacey gave me a list of songs from two of my CD’s and it was curious to see which ones were Levi’s favorites, some of which I haven’t played or even memorized for live concerts.

The kids were all toddlers, so I had to figure out how to play the appropriate songs for that age, though the music itself is powerful enough for the kids to absorb, and play rhythm instruments with. One little boy, Nico, had a plastic guitar for the whole set and ‘grooved’ to the songs with some particularly cool hip moves for a two-year old. The dads patrolled the outskirts while the moms and grandmoms participated and enjoyed the reactions of the children. Lots of pictures, videos on cell phones – all part of family legacies now, and that’s cool.

I took time in the middle of the set to have Nico and Levi come up and strum my guitar up close, and that’s always a wonderful moment to have these kids experience the sound of this instrument up close and personal.

Levi didn’t quite grasp the familiar songs being play live, as opposed to hearing them on the CD’s. That’s part of the process and I accept it when they don’t react immediately to the songs. After I finished and had some food, Stacey put on my Playground CD, and, sure enough, Levi started clapping along with his favorites on the album. It was a good reminder that the music has its power in several incarnations, and that my live production is only part of that spectrum.

Back to Bethlehem.