This is the big one, a nice afternoon set at Liederplatz at Musikfest. I only get this chance to do my adult material in an acoustic band situation quite rarely, especially in a concert setting like this, great sound and a listening audience in a festival courtyard. I put together my friends John Christie and Kris Kehr for this jaunt, and a set list of new, old and some kids’ stuff, too. A very nice mixture of folk music and commentary for a listening audience on a perfect day.

Kris, John and I had worked up some good material, and, in spite of a rocky gig the day before (perhaps because of…) we really did a fine job. I was tickled at the end of set. Kris was solid as ever and John provided some great (often nasty) guitar leads. We didn’t need a drummer – that’s how strong we played. I had a rough set list and took it on the fly and weaved through the blues, country, novelty, Canadian, rock and roll material and played strong and sure. I also committed to playing standing up, not an easy thing with my hip problems, but it felt great to move to the music, and add to the theatricality of the show. (Yes, it is a show….)

My good friend Bruce Gaston showed up for his yearly set during my show, and I am always glad to see him in the audience. He is a manualist – he plays music with his hands. Vaudeville at its finest (and I feel I’m part of that tradition…). I love to sit behind him and watch the audience react to the initial sound (a tortured balloon) and then recognize the Bruce’s ability, genius and practiced craft, all delivered in a compact 5 minute piece with great entertainment chops. He’s amazing, and he gives my set an incredible breather, and sets us up for the grand push. Really, I relish having Bruce Gaston in my audience.

I had folks up on stage for Giants and Thunder Tubes (great interaction, as always), I badgered the audience to sing along, we got some good jamming among the three of us going, some serious tunes, my Stan Rogers tune Giant that continues to be fun, Rosie is a Friend of Mine had some ladies dancing up front, and Lessons from Pete finished out the set on a strong note, with spotlights on John and Kris. I thanked everyone for coming out, big thanks to Terry and Dave for the superb sound, mentioned that I have played every Musikfest and landed to gracious applause from the hometown crowd. Very, very satisfying and one of the better gigs of the year.

It’s not a tight musical presentation, but I think folks recognize that the musical spontaneity, the song diversity and the friendly presentation make for a pleasing show. I am proud of what I do, and glad to have friends help be do it.