My friend, Tom Church, invited me back for another house concert along the Delaware, north of Easton. I did this last year with pianist Dan DeChellis and Tom, and this year he invited Paul Thiessen to join us. It was a fund raiser for the UU Church in Bethlehem, so there were a few familiar faces from my time there in the ’90s. A friendly and hip audience, for sure. Tom wrote up two sets of his material, practiced some with Paul, and trusted Dan and myself to figure out the tunes on the fly. I played mandolin for the most part, Paul played banjo and some guitar, Dan is an established jazz pianist, so he had no trouble supporting us all.
The area was a comfortable living room and adjoining sitting room, lots of wood, a fire in the fireplace, and the four of us on stools. Tom had finagled a sound system, but I figured I would be heard in this space acoustically. It felt good to pick on the mandolin, figure out the chords, sit out, if need be, and add to sound. There were quite a few tunes I knew, and I found my spots.
The cool thing was that we all had our antennas up, listened to the song and each other and made it work. That’s probably what the folks in the seats probably enjoyed most, the interaction between the musicians, and not as much for the set list. Tom has a strong history in singer/songwriter during the 70’s, an album on Fretless Records, and some travels to Boston and the West Coast. He hasn’t been playing much recently, so this afternoon was a great opportunity to play his repertoire in from of friends. It was very nice to support him, and enjoy playing backup mandolin for two sets. Works for me!
I had one solo in the second set, so I did Lessons from Pete, and had the lads come in during the jam at the end. It was the only tune I played on guitar the whole afternoon.
Tom gave me some bucks, I sold a few Open Mike CD’s and headed home as the sun went down on 22. Good. Local. Music.