Sounds like a September grade school essay assignment, no? Has it really been four months since last I wrote? Yup. Summer was spent mostly at home and we are just beginning to emerge from pandemic seclusion. So let’s start there...
The Long-Awaited Tour
It’s been close to 3 years since I last went out on a concert tour. Though poised in March of 2020 for an ambitious Midwest tour with the beloved Prince Myshkins, well…you know what happened then. But a scant 30 months later I’m off, doing that same Midwest tour, but this time with long-time, much-loved friend and singing partner Annie Patterson. Check out our concert schedule (complete with clickable links) for a city near you or for our live streamed Ann Arbor concert Oct. 22.
Although I managed to do one live & in-person concert (the annual Camp Kinderland room-rocker) I’ve mostly been at home and online. Summer started with a virtual show with Lindsey Wilson. You can see the video here.
And ended with an online concert with Bev Grant, archived here.
Lindsey & I have been performing on line since early pandemic times and Bev and I go way back to the 1970s – so great to work with each of them.
That was the online part. As for the at home part, it’s been mostly joy. Like most of you, I sweated through what was the hottest summer in the 20+ years I’ve been in Shelburne Falls. Plenty of humidity, not much rain. Sound familiar? Most overused phrase of the era: “the new normal.”
We (Candace & me) are very grateful to have an escape and it served us well this summer. This is my 76th summer at a cabin on a lake in the Myles Standish State Forest. Early in the summer my two (very grownup) kids claim their vacation weeks and with Jamie & family living in KY and Nell in CT it was a rare and pleasant rendezvous for a nuclear family reunion. A new addition this summer – they bought a Sailfish (boat that is) and the grandkids are learning to sail.
With my elder granddaughter on the bow, her younger sister hunkered down in the footwell and myself holding down the stern (they let me steer now and then) we mostly managed to stay upright and enjoy the breeze.
Music at Home and on the Road
Later in the summer, Candace and I had the place to ourselves, except for the annual singing party. Last summer, with pandemic caution, there were only 3 of us. This time there were a dozen, including some of the finest singers and guitarists I know. We feasted on lasagna and sang for 7 hours non-stop. Lovely.
We wrapped up our folk song summer attending a musical history of the life of Woody Guthrie at a theater in Weston, VT. The show was wonderful, and it provided a fine occasion to visit the Weston Priory up on Priory Hill where the leaves are beginning to turn toward a glorious Fall.
And so shall we. Woody had absolute faith in the importance of singing through the hard times, giving voice to the voiceless and naming the problems clearly - “This Machine Kills Fascists” emblazoned on his guitar. He wasn’t one to pull punches. He challenges us all, “take it easy, but take it.” So we’re taking it on the road. Scroll back to the top for the dates and cities on our Midwest Tour. Rick Burkhardt and I will follow up our Oct. 20 concert with a mini-tour of the Northeast in early December. And in between and beyond there’ll be more online concerts, so stay tuned. Hope to see you on the road.