I was glad to be invited by Craig Thatcher to be part of an afternoon’s schedule of live music for a big benefit at Steel Stacks for a children’s cancer organization on Saturday. I invited my friend Kris Kehr to sit in with me, hoping to fatten out my sound among other bands on the docket. Thankfully, Kris continues to support me, regardless of the lack of pay.

It was in one of several tents on the grounds, the others being wine and food tastings, a Penn State football game and other high end entertainments. The soundstage was great and a delight to play on – part of the reason I lend my services to these events. We were in the same area as the silent auction, with folks browsing the items, eating food and hanging out. We were not the main deal, by any means.

We were preceded by Don Cunningham (former Bethlehem mayor and Springsteen wannabe) and his Associates. God, were they loud! I looked forward to providing an alternative to proceedings.

Kris showed up in the nick o’ time and we played a set of my adult material. It was a joy to be able to showcase this part of my repertoire, especially with folks like Craig’s band in the audience. Yes, I can do this stuff. I remembered my notes from Musikfest to do the good stuff up front so we rolled through Don’t Call Me Early, Barrelhouse and Rosie early on. Kris contributed with solid bass support as well as some nice leads when called upon. There was good communication on stage, creative improvisations and a general fat sound and interesting song selection. It was fun for the both of us.

The first song was met by a deafening silence in the tent. I then made the comment that we were used to a modicum of applause after a song, and that it was especially important when we were donating our services. That shamed the crowd into responding. I was my usual sardonic self through the set, commenting on playing for free, etc. One of the promoters came up afterward and said that we could have a steak dinner later on. That felt quite nice. I also thanked Craig for inviting us, and that was the main reason we were there. It was, and I was glad to help out my friend.

We played standing up and that felt good, too. I was soaked with sweat and somewhat fatigued from the effort, but it was righteous, indeed.

Off to another benefit in the evening in Bucks County.