I had my first gig after close to three weeks from my hip replacement operation. I was somewhat hesitant with my guitar chops and vocal skills, as well as my mobility and energy for the evening. Mixed results.

I had booked a Saturday night gig at the IceHouse through Doug Roysdon’s IceHouse Tonight series, an effort to utilize this fine performance space on Sand Island. It was meant to be a family cabaret night, substituting milk and cookies for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and encourage moms, dads, grandparents and kids to come out.

I asked my friend John Christie to come out and support me on guitar, as he has many other times. I felt I needed something special for the evening, and I also thought his backup would help me through what I thought might be a tough night.

Only twelve or so folks made it out to the show. (I was glad I didn’t opt for bringing the PA for this one). Some regular fans, a mom and her young son, a mom and her very, very shy son gave me about seven folks to start out with. I was disappointed with the turnout but John and I launched into the music. Even with so few people, we warmed up nicely, though the shy boy was clutching mom’s sweater when I made any reference to him.

About fifteen minutes in, two kids and their grandparents came in and the shy, shy boy lit up. It was Dylan, his best friend! The world turned at that moment. As John and I continued, Dylan, his sister and shy guy just had the greatest time, as did the mom and the grandfolks. There was laughing, dancing, singing and carrying on. As we finished our set, the kids headed for milk and cookies.

After three weeks off, my voice had lost some of the high and low end, but my guitar work was none the worse. I was unsure what my energy level would be, but, in the heat of the performance, and with the support of my friend John, things turned out well. I still feel I have very little draw, but could have done a better job promoting the gig.

It was good to be out gigging again though still uncomfortable walking with this cane. Back in the game.