11 March 2017 - Garage Sale Band
Last Saturday Ben Miller and I sauntered down to Trader's Village in the rain. Ben's church was participating in a huge flea market-style sale and we were to provide some Muzak to help seal deals and sell some stuff. We had a simple set up - keys, drums, and two mics - and carte blanche on repertoire. I figured we'd play casually for an hour, pack up the soggy set and bail. We actually ended up playing for about four hours without really taking a break. We took requests, played some Carthy tunes, some covers, and some original jam-based stuff. It wasn't really like anything I'd ever done before. It was a vaguely-structured public jam session where the pressure of being on stage was forgone in the name of fundraising. It was cool, and damn fun. Some young folks walked by and yelled "Minions!" and we obliged. During our Motown set, folks our parents' ages stopped for a minute to remember an event in days gone by that may have looked very similar, with us having been replaced by a record or 8-track player. A wheelchair-bound gentleman and his family passed by several times, bringing huge smiles and a palpable positive energy with them each time. We actually even got crashes by two mariachis. We had begun a Latin-inspired environmental piece, and they heard this and came up and asked if they could play. We communicated a little bit in Spanish, but a lot in music. As one guy sat down with Ben at the keyboard, he demonstrated a familiar percussion pattern and I did my best to lay it down. "Eso!", he would say when I'd get it right or produce a fill that he recognised, always accompanied by a huge smile. We played three or four charts with those guys, and it was unlike anything I'd experienced in quite some time. Someone with a completely different musical background than me sat down and we made music together, even when the most casual of conversations may have been difficult.
I left that day feeling validated in so many wonderful ways. I'm glad I was able to provide entertainment or memories or even justnalund for folks who wanted or maybe even needed it. It reminded me that what I do is important and that any day or even can be an opportunity to learn and grow and connect.
Over the next few weeks, I plan to continue building my podcast library. I'll be recording some solo episodes as well as tightening up the recordings I have from those who were kind enough to share their time with me. I also want to announce that my tentative release date for episode 1 will be 1 April 2017! I'm going to try and release one a week. Quite a lofty goal, but one I've been thinking of for quite some time. If you wanna be in the podcast or have a good idea for a topic or guest, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for your readership and support and as always,