Come on up to the house...

One of the great blessings in my life happens on Thanksgiving Eve when we do our annual American Music and Poetry concert.  Just about 10 minutes ago, after a lunch meeting, I was stopped by a man who was at last year's show who told me he hoped to join us again this year. "I was blown away at the collected talent you had up on that stage." Me, too - it is a joyful and humbling experience to be surrounded by so many GREAT musicians who are also GREAT people!  (That is not always the case, right?)  But there are NO divas allowed - just players and singers who love one another and the music - and what to share it in an authentic celebration.
This year we're kicking things off with a take on the Rascals' tune, "Good Lovin'" - it has kind of a ska groove happening now.  We'll do some a capella country songs, our version of the Wilburys' "End of the Line," a smokin' take with our young player Ethan burning down ZZ Top's "Sharp Dressed Man" as well as some gospel, original tunes and a few surprises.  Our local public television station will be recording the gig, too so I hope to be able to get a DVD made into clips for You Tube.

There are three things about this show that I love:  First, it is all American music - not because American music is the best - but because Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday.  So we've got Lou Reed tunes next to Linda Ronstadt ballads, rock'n'soul numbers followed by "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" with a bit of jazz and a capella hymns through in for good measure.
Second, this gathering brings together folk who have been doing the show with me for 6 years.  It feels like a family reunion of sorts and we have developed a deep affection for one another.  We back up one another's songs, we hold each performer in prayer as she/he is doing their thing and we revel in the beauty of working together for the common good.  I can't wait to see my dear friends again.

And third, the people who come out to these shows are always taken aback by how much fun they are.  Oh, there were a few old souls who thought they were going to a traditional Thanksgiving worship service - and they left bewildered.  But by now people come to rock and roll and sing out with abandon.  They come looking for the thrill of singing together in a sweet way.

All told, it is a gas for everyone involved - and we raise a few thousand dollars to help Berkshire residents who need fuel assistance during the coldest time of the winter.  So, if you are free tonight at 7:30 pm, come on up to the house, as Tom Waits put it, and we'll have a good time!
Post script:  the show was a GAS.  We'll have clips soon and pix, too. Here's a shot from our ZZ tribute with Ethan Wesley nailing "Smart Dressed Man."

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