I knew this was a strange gig for me – a fire company carnival in July. I do applaud the organizers in booking a family folk show, but compete with rides, food, side shows? I knew what I was up against. And I am well aware of my lack of draw here in the Lehigh Valley. Still very glad to get a gig. In fact it was one of my first post-lockdown bookings. I do play the local farmers’ market and a local church, so I was glad they shopped local.
I brought Kris Kehr along for the gig, knowing I needed some umph on base for a two hour set, and some brotherly support on a set list that would have to be kids and Americana music. I’m really glad I did. Still, I was concerned that I could play a fire company carnival.
We were booked for 6:30 – 8:30, earlier than some carnival shows, but I suggested the time slot for families on a Tuesday night in July. I got there, met Kris and then we figured we go over to the band shell and set up. I used my RockRoots sound system and it did fill up the stage, and, along with Kris’s bass amp, we provided a pretty good sound. I was curious why my contact Angela hadn’t shown up.
There was a miniscule audience, but enough to engage with (on a personal level), and the bag of instruments was splayed out on the lawn in front ot the stage. Again, the bag works its wonders and kids, moms, dads took some time out to play with their kids. I’m sure it also entertained Kris and me and made the night shorter.
It was a very mixed bag of songs and I’m glad I put together a long list of songs to do: R&R, bluegrass, country, family tunes. We used them all up. I can’t say enough what a good friend Kris is to back me up on these songs. He said that he even could dial up my newer stuff from my 365 Series on YouTube and bone up on my keys/arrangements. Cool. A friend indeed.
I really should have changed strings. I was battling the whole time with tuning and a thuddy sound on the Martin. The summer weather seems to kill strings. No wonder there. But, I didn’t break any, so that’s a positive.
We made it through the two hours and we did a good job, No check or contact person. This happens.
I got back home around 9 pm and checked my email and there was note, “Just wanted to check and see if you are on your way for the music for carnival tonight, we’re here at the pavilion.” Ack! We had actually arrived on site around 5:55. I quickly emailed Angela that we showed up and played. And, of course, my mind went into “What if?” Was the band shell and the pavilion two different places? Was I to play in the carnival grounds? Would I get paid? It kept me up pretty late.
When I got up at 2 am to post my daily YT song, there was a note from Angela: “Hi Dave – oh it was perfect, you were in the correct spot 🙂 I saw you setting up from afar and started to head over and then got pulled into helping with the food and beer tent and didn’t get to make it over to catch you before you started playing. The performance was terrific!” Big sigh of relief! This is never easy these days. Check in the mail.