It’s been a while since I’ve visited my friends in CT so I arranged for another kitchen session up at Ron and Suzie’s place in Northford. Ron invited a bunch of friends on Friday. I had a rather easy drive up from Bethlehem on a Friday afternoon into the teeth of weekend traffic but I fared well, getting to his place around 4:30 in time to check in with them both before the rest of the folks arrived around 6:30. They are my very good friends who are my remaining link to my ten year odyssey in CT. I still feel some pain from my end days up there.

Frank and Cathy, Lou and Jeanne, Chuck and his wife, Bill Morrell and Betsy Rome gathered around the kitchen table with wine, cheese, beer and me and my coffee. We passed around tunes, stories, jammed on songs familiar and others less so. Betsy offered a nice challenge for us: one round with the name of a state in it. It was a good idea and it put my mind to work. I finally came up with Rodeo Rider (Montana), and I don’t recall playing it for them so I played it anyway. The whole kitchen became quiet and it felt good to share this great song with my friends. I really like to hush a room when I play. I enjoy the challenge.

I got to play We Are Welcomed, Green Green Rocky Road, Rumba Man, and Kent’s Giants. I got to noodle on mandolin, and find places to fit in on guitar. I also simply sat back and listened to the songs and smile, basking in the friendships gathered here tonight.

There were some stunning guitars in the room and we passed around our own to share. The conversation was humorous. At one point, after the pizzas were devoured, I mentioned that my next Dave’s Night Out is called Kitchen Sessions and I wanted their reflections on what makes these events so valuable. Lou mentioned that it was refreshing that our problems and the politics of the world are left behind. We talked about respect, sharing a common language. I liked that we listen first and play second. But Ron was getting antsy with all the touchy-feely talk, so he cranked up one of his tunes and we were back in the thick of it. Still, for me, it’s important to reflect on the magic of what we were doing.

I decided I would head back that night for several reasons. At that time of the night, the travel back would be pretty mindless and I actually got back into Bethlehem in less than three hours. As much as I appreciate the hospitality offered, I really would rather sleep in my own bed. The drive up and back also affords me some quality time listening to music, as well. I don’t often get that chance. And I get to be alone with my thoughts.

A good session for the soul.