Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Middlin' May

It sure starts off right...seeing Steppin' In It at the Ten Pound Fiddle Coffeehouse on May 1. They are just so much fun to be around...great energy, pretty funny and wonderful musicians. Thanks to Rachael Davis for coming and singing (and bringing your little one!). I know I just saw them a couple weeks ago, but geez, give a music-lover a break...I really enjoy this band.


Seeger at 86 on the cover of Sing Out! (Summer...Image via Wikipedia

Moving along to Monday the 4th, our friend Sally Potter organized a birthday sing along tribute to Pete Seeger's 90th birthday. There must have been nearly a 100 people there (Unitarian Church in East Lansing), led by Matt Watroba (huge Seeger fan and historian) and others. It was a night of fondness and love for a man of peace and courage. We even signed a large (like 4 feet X 6 feet) card for old Pete.

On May 8 my second oldest, Heather, graduated with her Masters in Social Work from Michigan State University. No, not much music here, but hey, I am terribly proud of her.

The 15th brought the May 2009 edition of The Coffeehouse at All Saints where we sort of had an, "End of School" theme. The sing alongs included, "School's Out", "Be True To Your School", "Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard" and the Bob Blue words to Paul Anka's, "My Way"....which if you've heard it has hilarious lyrics any school teacher would enjoy! We'll take a break in June and July and return with the annual, "Out on the Farm" rendition of The Coffeehouse At All Saints where we meet at the farm of Gail and Dan Crane, have a cookout, hayrides and a sing along by the campfire. Saturday, August 22. Details to follow. See you there!

Tired as we were from last night we are once again energized by...The East Lansing Art Festival! I must remember...there is art there. Why do you laugh? Oh, because the truth is I really look forward to the music. Wanda Deegan organizes it and procures the musical artists and really did a wonderful job this year.

First off we were ablle to catch, "THE STRING DOCTORS A new kind of Country Swing" with Ray Kamalay, Joel Mabus, Peter Knupfer & Dave Rosin at noon on the Main Stage on Saturday the 16th. Having seen them at the WKAR taping of Backstage Pass earlier in the year we were eagerly awaiting their return. Their banter fits the outdoor concert scene and their musicianship was wonderful...especially Joel Mabus (no surprise, I know).
Then we cruised the Festival, enjoying good weather (mostly) and many happy people.

Were we in for a treat at 3PM with The Vienna Teng Trio.

Vienna Teng at Joe's Pub in NYC 4-7-07 Photogr...Image via Wikipedia

WOW! Is she a talent or what?! Vibrant, charming...a much-too-short hour and 15 of "Chamber folk" music. Original songs played with expertise by the trio. I really enjoyed this set.

Well, following Vienna Teng, The Ragbirds from Ann Arbor came out and knocked our socks off! Erin Zindle is the lead singer and fiddler extraordinaire! What energy! Global groove everybody moving...even Vienna Teng. It was so cool to see her jump right into the dancing at the front of the stage. Everyone was having a great time. Go see The Ragbirds! In fact, you can catch them at the Ten Pound Fiddle Coffeehouse on Friday Jan 22, 2010 at the Erickson Kiva on the campus of Michigan State University. Don't miss them!

Sunday brought our good friend, Linda Abar & The Neil Gordon Trio to the Main Stage. Neil is a wonderful jazz guitarist and he accompanies Linda perfectly. She was in great voice, fun stage presence and obviously had a good time. She did most of the songs on her CD, "Once Upon A Time" as well as some jazz standards...a great hour in the sun.

We wandered a bit and made sure we caugth Daisy May Erlewine and Seth Bernard (yes, I know she dropped the "Daisy"..but not then). Great original songs...skillfully played by Seth and performed with honest enjoyment by the both of them. I really like these 2 and they are fond of the East Lansing audience as well. I'm sure Wanda Deegan will take note that Seth and Daisy deserve the Main Stage next was packed!
There were many others that day, including Claudia Schmidt...but we could not do it all. This is my favorite outdoor festival of the year, mostly because we can sit really close and enjoy the performers enjoying themselves.
The next weekend Nicky and I and a few others made the trek down to Chelsea to enjoy Jeff Daniels' "Purple Rose Theatre" and see, "Bleeding Red"...a very funny play about football (English football that Support Michigan theater!
That's it till next time....

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