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Wednesday, June 15, 2005
I just love everyone in this van
Listening to:birdies
Reading:tons of stuff
Weather:68, luscious
Podcasts in the 'gator:Ultimate Podcasting, Daily Source Code, Morning Coffee Notes, TWIT, Earthcore
What an amazingly choice weekend! After teaching a 1.5 hr plenary and a 2.5 hr workshop at the Summer Institute on Aging, I blasted off toward 50 West around noon on Friday. Relief from the completion of the presentations was quickly replaced by excitement for the weekend performances to come. Car already packed from the night before, I was headed for St. Mary's to meet up with a beautiful little circle of friends out there that I'm privileged to be a part of. Checked in at the motel, my room was frosty, but it was a welcome alternative to the unseasonably steamy hazy sun out there, which was like a scene out of a Tennessee Williams play or something. Sweet Connie shows me the way to Donnie's, where the gang is hanging, trying to stay cool.

That night Titties and I played a supper club in Parkersburg, lots of fun. All the usual suspects came, sat in, made us feel like rockstars.
Here's what of the setlist I can remember:
Summer Breeze
Just Remember I Love You
Gotta Get Back
Change the World
Ballad of Spider John
Small Town Sat. Nite
From the Beginning
Dance with Me
Hearts R Gonna Roll
Cool Change
America medley
Country Roads
Sound was a bit hinky, but I felt pretty good about the performance, a good warm-up for the Bass Fest gig on Saturday evening. Fred pulled out Already Gone, Willie delivered a smooth and rich Mary, but sweet open-hearted Donnie stole the show with his unmistakably genuine I'll Be Back Again. A heartbreaker. After the show we loaded out, and stood around the van catching up and checking the tires, wink wink nudge nudge, rolled into the motel parking lot around 3a. Haven't seen that hour from the outside in a while. The old girl can still hang.

Saturday started with breakfast at the Fireside, an egg, toast, potatoes, good coffee, all for $4, surrounded by a big table full of cool people. Back to Donnie's beautiful house for a little rehearsing, then off to sound check on the main stage. The sound guy was nice but questionably competent. The headliners, Third Wheel, a country band out of Nashville, gave us kind compliments and said we were great at the club last night (!). Their sound check was the first I heard them, and they were so tight and polished. Stellar. Even though I'm not a country fan, generally. So back to the Fireside for supper, where I got to play with the cherubic and curious T-bird. On the way back on of the sweetest moments of the weekend, Tits behind the wheel, me riding shotgun, Cherrie in the back seat with T-bird says "what are you smiling about?" and Tits replies "I just love everyone in this van."

Showtime. Very wet with sweat, left hand sticky on the fretboard, but fired up and ready. Donnie's band played first, a comforting mix of classics like Jambalaya and of course the obligatory array of find Beatles tunes. My favorite of the night, a wistful Long and Winding Road, with a lovely violin in the mix.

Time to hit it! Stage sound was very funky, always disconcerting when it goes that way, but no grimaces from the audience so we plugged on ahead. My voice was feeling strong and good, we were hitting the groove, having a ball! Mission accomplished, now I can really relax and enjoy. Third Wheel put on a mighty mighty show. After about 4 songs Patsy turns to me and says, "they can sing, too!" Translate this comment to mean they were fine young men in tight jeans shaking their booties to the delight of most of the women and doubtlessly some of the men, too. Hell, even the lesbians were grooving.

Sunday I got up around 10 (!) saw the Tits family off, and headed to volunteer at the Fest. This is an actual fish thing, not just a music thing, and there's a $10,000 purse for the big bass. Shocked the shit out of me. I imagine folks might be willing to cheat for that. Anyhoo, I checked out the most kickass trailer that had been traded for some advertizing for the weekend, helped a band get set up, and generally hung around to help hunt down Connie when she was needed and pick some stuff up at the store and whatnot. Around 3 I started up the Civic and began the 2+ hour drive home, tired, sweaty, smiling.

permalink posted by cat 7:21 AM

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I just love everyone in this van