Fortified by some strong Godfreys coffee, I geared up for my kids’ set at 7 pm to kick off the evening with Sam, Dina and Kris. I do the traditional family set early on, and there were quite a few folks in the house, but perhaps only five or six kids in attendance. They turned out to be fairly laid back, partly because they were not used to a performer being this close and interactive. Things progressed nicely, though. Many good moments and several thanks from the parents for doing this as part of the evening.

Sam Steffen did his solo set and, as expected, knocked it out of the park. He got a standing ovation which he truly deserved. I am so proud of Sam and what he has brought to the legacy of this club.

Dina, Kris and I set out for a nice long set, alternating two song segments with each other, Kris holding down the sound on bass, my mandolin filling in on Dina’s material and Dina adding some percussion and harmonica colorations on my stuff. We played particularly well, the sound was phat and the patter professional. I was quite proud of what we presented.

We finished off with Dylan’s Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall, with Sam joining us on stage on harmonica, and each of us singing a verse. It was Dina’s idea to do this and it was spot on, especially considering the times we are going through, the sheer poetry of the song and the way we could all add our own take on the piece. It was the perfect ending to a very good night. We got a standing O and begged our way off stage, saying that was all we had.

The evening exceeded my expectations and it was a wonderful way to finish off 2016, with my good friends in front of an appreciative audience on my home stage. Happy New Year!