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Sunday, July 30, 2006
good livin
Listening to:15 Minutes of Fame
Reading:it's a secret
Weather:unbelievably sticky, foggy, 73
Great weekend, and it's only Sunday morning. Friday was Mindy's last day at work, so we took her out to lunch. Mindy was our summer law intern who worked full-time for 10 weeks with us. Always nice to go out to lunch with the gang, and especially when you know you've only got a few hours left of the work week when you get back. The Mountainfest bike rally was in town this weekend, so we started hearing throaty pipes up and down High Street by early afternoon.

I also received a fedex package of a bunch of stuff I have to read and review over the next couple of weeks, and for which I will be well paid. If I told ya what it was I'd have to kill ya, so let's leave it at that.

At 6pm Larry and I drove Liv and Brandin to Gene's where Brandin's mom works so they could go home with her. Then Larry and I cruised down to the riverfront park to catch the Brother Short set at 6. The boys sounded most excellent. Paul apparently recently got ripped off in Nashville, lost his car, guitar, a borrowed amp, mics, stands, etc. But he's got a new guitar and it sounded great. Luke's back in the band, one of my favorite players, and he was sizzling and tasty as ever. The drum sound was particularly excellent, with a nice big room verb (maybe partly natural), and Bill was rock solid, as usual. Greg's 12 string sounds like no other, he's totally unique and groovy. But Chuck steals the show, such a joyous musician, never failing to get totally carried away by every song. All splendid. It's so nice to be outside, even in the sticky humidity, running into all the usual suspects and a few unexpected folks, listen to great music, enjoy the beautiful river view behind the band through the open stage.

Saturday morning I got up, watered my plants (who are loving this hot humid July), and puttered a bit. Then cut up the rest of the sweet watermelon in the fridge, grabbed my guitar and headed to Grafton. My colleague Heidi had a family picnic celebrating her anniversary and her daughter's 2nd birthday, and she kindly invited me. Another beautiful West Virginia day, hanging out around the picnic tables under the Knights of Columbus pavilion, eating delicious homemade Italian food, watching the little ones run around in their party clothes, climbing up into the laps of their great-grandparents and aunts and uncles, smiles and stories and hugs. Diane (whom I've known since I started this job 10 years ago) and Larry and I had the pleasure of sitting with Uncle John. He uses a cane and needs a little help getting up and down. He's got a beautiful twinkly smile, tells hilarious tales, and is proud to say he has been married to his delightful wife Mary for 59 years.

After food and presents and cake, Davin gets on the keyboards and accompanies Heidi singing some tunes, to everyone's delight. Davin sings the tune he wrote about his wife, and another he wrote about growing up in Shinnston. They sound great and everyone listens attentively, except birthday girl Maryn who fusses in her mom's arms. A beautiful sight. I got out my guitar as the crowd began to thin and sat in on a few tunes with them for fun. Next thing I know, it's 6:30, gotta run.

Head back up Grafton Road and Oak Grove Road to my house to switch out my guitar for my bass, brush my hair and change, and continue on north on the Grafton Road to the Blue Moose to back up Daria and Randy, aka 15 Minutes of Fame.

Upon Daria's request, I brought my minidisc recorder and got it plugged in and set to record. Those guys were already set up, so I got out my bass, plugged in and we did a quick sound check. The place was pretty deserted about 15 minutes before 9, I got a little worried that Daria and Gary might get a disappointingly small crowd. But by 9, the place was filling up, mostly with our friends, always nice.

Daria and Randy opened the show with several obscure tunes, everybody seemed to be enjoying themselves, some drinking beer, some drinking coffee and having cake. Liv and Brandin appeared after seeing Clerks II (again) with Ava. After 4 or 5 tunes Daria called me up, and I played 5 or 6 with them. Same thing in the second set. Everyone was kind, telling us we sounded great, we thanked folks for making the scene, and packed out around midnight.

I think Randy was the unsung star of the show, totally rock solid, barely missing a note all night. It's hard as hell to be the one carrying the tunes all night, being the sole keeper of the bass line (most of the show), the chords, the rhythm, the form, the dynamics. It's hard enough to do that playing solo, but it's actually much harder to do when someone else is fronting the lead vocals. Amazing job. And Daria demonstrated her amazing abilities to front the vocals, play multiple percussion instruments, and play harmonicas, usually all at once. OK, she doesn't actually sing and play harp simultaneously, but she actually does usually play one or even two percussion instruments while singing and also while blowing harp solos. And many of the tunes she chooses are hard to sing, and she does them well. I played mostly pretty well, I honked a few clunkers, but got my groove on for several tunes.

Now it's Sunday morning, and I'm real time dumping the minidisc tracks onto Cool Edit, blogging, and otherwise avoiding reading the giant pile of stuff waiting for me to review.


permalink posted by cat 10:32 AM

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