I was asked to do a family concert at this wonderful historic house in Catasauqua, PA as part of their new outreach into their community. George Taylor was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independance as well as an important mover and shaker in the early Lehigh Valley. The house and the grounds are magnificent and directly appeals to my innate love of history.
I set up under a pop-up tent over looking the broad lawn, majestic trees. I set up my sound system as well, not knowing if it was necessary. A gentleman set up his seat under the tree 30 feet from me, along with a grandmom, mom and son. That was it for the day. It remains very hard for me to realize I have next to no draw in my home valley.
None the less, I launched into playing my good stuff as best as I could. I can’t do otherwise. Eventually, my natural instincts gravitated towards engaging the boy, and it turned out to be quite wonderful. I invited him up to grab some instruments for himself and his ladies. He rocketed out of his seat to get them. I knew the fire was already lit. He was familiar with many of my songs from my CDs and had his favorites. Over the course of the next two hours, Tyler was up on stage with me singing, skipping around the tree, shaking shakers, doing Thunder Tube. He was a virtual ham and a delight to work with. He also was special needs kid. His enthusiasm, his fearlessness working with me, his expressive movements and his connection with me was palpable to his family, the volunteers and a big, empty lawn.
We (myself and the few volunteers) packed up the ‘festival’ with our tails between our legs. It is extremely hard to do THE ARTS in this Lehigh Valley. I’ve had 40 years experience in this. The good folks actually thanked me for doing this, and I expressed my disappointment in my supposed ‘draw’.
The grandmom came up and introduced herself as the former principal of a local elementary school I have played for years. She raised her students, teachers and now her grandson on my music. I feel honored to have played for her in so many community situations and have her share my play with her grandson.
Each gig has its cosmic connection.