This is our third reunion in four years at Godfreys and it was a fairly good crowd, though certainly not full. We had asked Kris Kehr to sit in for Denny Danko who really didn’t feel up to doing the gig for several reasons. Kris worked on tapes and two live rehearsals to try to absorb the chords and the arrangements and he did fine. A trusted friend, indeed.
We also convinced Peggy Salvatore to sing a few songs, so that was a big plus. Reid drove in from New Hampshire, Jeff dusted off his drums, Hub tackled the piano again, Chris had his steel guitar ready to go. I got out my Martin and my Gibson mandolin for the evening.
It was booked as a Dave’s Night Out so I expected to make the evening conversational, though not many folks asked questions. But, as expected the chatter on stage was fresh and humorous, making for an all around entertaining evening.
I guess I was in charge of the flow of the set, and it worked quite well. Starting out with Choo Choo and PayDay Blues, we took control of the sound and drive. I passed around the lead chores to Reid, Hub and introduced Peggy to the audience for two songs. She did pretty good in spite of the band (we were a little slack on some chord changes, but relatively unnoticeable for the audience). Rodeo Rider came off very strong, Reid sang the Jesus country tune that left audience members in tears and we finished strong with a good Clinch Mountain Backstep jam and the Elvis tunes.
Other than playing some fine music as a band again, one moment shone for me on a personal level. I’ve been fighting hip problems for years now, and, having had a hip replacement a month ago, I’m feeling better day by day. I ditched the cane two days ago, figured out how to do stairs well and I’m driving again.
Towards the end of the set, I stood up to play the mando for Clinch Mt. and it felt great to be able to stand and play for the first time in several years. As we finished up with the rockabilly tunes, I shunned the stool and remained standing. I started moving to the music just like I used to do and it felt wonderful, as if I have my sea legs again. It was remarkable.
The audience loved it, the band made some money and we pulled off a really good show, just like we used to do thirty three years ago.