Okay summer is now in full swing. Lucky for me I have a country get away to avoid the hot, sticky, smelly subway. It's funny, people ask me all the time how I can handle performing in the subway. It does take a certain amount of settling in, a few days tops and then suddenly I forget the crazy surroundings, the sounds, the smells, the rushing commuters, the strange daily events that are too hard to describe. It's the movement of bodies, the heart and soul of a city. The collective coming together of flesh, blood, metal, wood, air and water. But for now it's crickets and cool breezes, wild turkeys and honey bees. And it takes me no time to settle into this kind of environment.
Taking a break is a resourcing for me and being someone who doesn't actually know how to stop "working," I am full of doing other wonderful things. I've never actually had what I call a "real job" except when I was in my teens first working at Bob's Surplus in Middletown, CT, folding jeans, working the cash register and then display (that's when I learned to drink my coffee black), and later a brief stint as a drive-up teller at a Liberty Bank in Portland. The branch manager one day seeing my cash stored in every direction, took the bills dumping them on the counter in a huge pile as a crazy way to teach me how to organize in one direction face up. Of course I never made that mistake again. I still organize bills that way. I was starting my first gigs at the same time and soon learned it was certainly more interesting and fun to embark on a career in music. Who knew I'd still be doing it happily all these years later, the highs the lows the good money and bad. "You got to love life to live life, and live life to love life." :Thornton Wilder, Our Town. Along the way I've always had a passion for other things that mean using my hands like sound engineering, but other non musical things like cooking, building and repairing things, gardening, photography, and community work.
Today I woke up and pulled weeds in our thyme garden and like I always like to say with a laugh, "we've got plenty of thyme." I walked the pups down a gravel country road, and am now back sitting at the computer writing. Last night Michele and I and some friends went to Hudson, NY for an outdoor concert series along the river called Hudson.Water.Music. produced by Rob Caldwell and owner of the most fun and eclectic "community" music store in America called Musica.
There were performers from Bindlestiff Family Cirkus, wandering the grounds, and hoola hoops everywhere for anyone to take a spin. There was a wonderful performance by The Edna Project with Liz Queler and Seth Farber and their very talented 12 year old son Joey on the Cajon.
Edna St. Vincent Millay lived in Austerlitz, NY on a fabulous piece of land she named Steepletop, where she escaped NYC with the rest of her angels and demons to write and celebrate her very intense and eclectic life. She was a rock star of the day (1920's). I remember my grandfather Raymond Gomez who emigrated from Antigua was a fan of Vincent's and could recite stanza's of her poetry. What was wonderful about The Edna Project is Liz and Seth have created wonderful musical accompaniment to the words of Edna St. Vincent's. My friend Sherry commented last night that the lyrics sound as contemporary as anything we listen to today. Seeing Seth was great fun as I had hired him back in 1998 to perform the B3 organ for a project I was producing (he is a fantastic keyboardist). Joey had just been born, so it was fun to see him play last night 12 years later. And Play he does, with so much passion and groove, while others like yours truly picked up one of the many hoola hoops laying about and took a twirl. Ah childhood memories. I think Edna St. Vincent was smiling.
And in the life is a small world category, sitting in chairs just next to us were Dini Lamot and Windle Davis (formerly of the group Human Sexual Response) old friends from my Key West days in the mid 1980's. I haven't seen them since. They are now happily living in Hudson, have a wonderful B&B The Inn At Hudson and have been together 36 years. They will officially marry next Tuesday. Congratulations.
Later Sweet Soubrette performed a lovely set. A fun trio of Violin, Uke, and yes Marimba while they performed the hot July sun set behind them along the Hudson river horizon.
As the next weeks go on I'll catch up on my many clips from the past months performing in the subway. You can look forward to more What's Your Inspiration? clips, and some really fun spontaneous jams from commuters passing by. And mostly I'll get out into the country and fill myself with nature before heading back to the Underground and parts unknown.
ha, ha, we have lots of thyme.....