One year and 9 weeks beginnings!

Yikes  -  It's been a year since my last entry! On some level, that makes sense: the doctors said it would take "about a year" for me to get back to my regular activities, and that was pretty-much true. I did a bunch of school jobs, the bands were pretty busy and there was lots of family action (much involving the grand daughter), not to mention big changes (and projects) at the radio station.

In retrospect, I've been sort of waiting for something monumental to occur before I wrote again. Then it dawned on me (again) that each thing I do is fodder for this forum. A lot happens in the life of an itinerant children's musician. My new pledge is to do regular updates: ideally, one for every little show I play. A lot happens between the cracks. Consider this a guide to navigating the unknown waters of free-wheeling free-lance fingerpicking and flatpicking from a friend. An alliterative one, at that. I'll start with today's wacky one-hour job.

I was booked last-minute to play a festival here in town (11-to-noon in the Kid's Area). I'd be on "the list" and the PA would be set up. Drive in, do a fun set, collect a 3-figure check.

I pulled up at the gate to a pretty chaotic scene (it turns out lots of people are into "Scottish Games!"). I found the Kid's Area, but no PA. Wait  -  it's tucked in an alcove in the corner of the pavilion! The speakers were pretty big, but I got 'em up on stands. The wires were all packed away (the PA was on loan from our Downtown business alliance), but whoever had put it away last time had made a mess of the cables! It took about 15 minutes to get them separated and connected. Then I realized I wasn't familiar with this particular bit of gear, and I had to trial-and-error my way through making sound come out of it (another 10-15 minutes). I also realize that there's no microphone stand!

All the while....bagpipers are warming up for their group competitions. There's a steady drone of what appears to be the key of Bb, which means I'm playing in  -  you guessed it  -  Bb (you cannot escape the sounds of bagpipes at relatively close range).

I'm finally ready to play and look at my watch. It's 12:05. The bagpipers stop playing and I quickly whip out "Feelin' Groovy" (in Bb). There's a little kid riding around on a tricycle in the pavilion. I play the Alphabet Song and "Twinkle Twinkle" (in Bb). His mother sings along. More bagpipers start piping. My watch says it's 12:20. The next performer is on at 2 and I realize I'd better leave her a note about how to operate this thing (and that she'll need to scare up a mic stand).

Thankfully, it's a beautiful day and people seem pretty happy. My friend Cami is waiting for Face-Painting customers and my friend Mike Stanley the Magician is on his way home. Me too. My final school job of the year had been on Wednesday. Day Camp starts this Monday. Thanks to this Saturday job, this has been my shortest Summer vacation to date.

It's good to be back. See you Monday!