I headed back to Das Awkscht Fest for my family set in a pavilion off to the side of the swings. These sets have been tough to gather folks for over the last several years, but I respect the festival for trying to include family shows. Again, they hire the local clowns, magicians, jugglers and other friends who ply the trade here in the L.V. I had an 11 am show, knowing I had a 2 pm show at Musikfest.
It was spectacular weather, almost a crisp fall day, and as Balloons The Clown drove off, having performed for no one, I settled in to play tunes. I was glad they had a PA set up, just to broadcast that I was playing. A mom and her two sons pulled up outside the pavilion, and seeing that it was empty, they hesitated to commit to coming in. Luckily, they were familiar faces and I encouraged them to look through the bag for instruments. (I can’t tell you how important that bag is, in engaging kids, and transferring their social angst with a live musician into something less imposing.
As I played, families drifted over and joined in, egg shakers and maracas, rain stick and puppets, all headed out into the crowd. It was never a big crowd, but kids, parents and grandparents and myself (and the sound guy, too) had a good time.
As I finished up with few folks in the pavilion, one grandmom was having her hands full with her toddler grandson. She was a former special ed teacher who had worked with me in the schools, and she asked that I do Spider on the Floor. I obliged, and it was interesting how the boy linked in to the tune, obviously bemused with the live version of one of his favorite CD cuts. Stopped him in his tracks.
I’ve run into this phenomenon with young children who have to process the live rendition of familiar tunes, especially when it is my voice on the CD and now live in front of them. Fascinating and enlightening. I love these experiences.
Off to Musikfest for the final gig of the tour….