It is trips like these that remind me why I love being a musician so much. We just got back from a brilliant adventure in Louisiana
We drove out there on last Monday so we could perform at their School Days event. Last year was our first year doing a School Days function and we didn't know what to expect. We were grossly unprepared. This year, we did some great preparation. We worked out the format on the drive up. This included deciding on what songs to play that we would play over and over and over again for our three shows.
This was the first time since our first year that we did the SAME show for each performance. We're big on rotating our set list to keep it interesting for us as well as our audience. So doing that for School Days was a big change. And it was a hit. We picked some good songs and Andrew did a fantastic job educating the few kids who could sit still long enough.
It inspired us a lot this past weekend too. Not to say we played the same show over and over. Fortunately, we have enough songs to avoid doing that, but it was the presentation that really made it for me. It still kinda boggles my mind when when we put on, what I consider, a great show. And we had several.
You see, one of the big challenges facing music groups at Renaissance faires is that if you only play music, you don't keep a crowd UNLESS you have a big sound or something highly visual. Bagpipes and drums go over amazingly. We talked with one group there who did a couple stage shows and they ran into this problem too. People don't want to sit and watch a thirty minute music set. So you have to provide additional entertainment. Their response was to add more comedy and only play three songs. We, however, were able to play a full eight songs, and keep people glued to their seats while others came to join in the fun. It was highly rewarding to see.
Plus, I had my first ever successful time hawking a show. I've never been fond of hawking, but our secluded stage kinda demanded that we hawked our show. So I did, and it was fairly successful at bringing in a few new faces to our crowd.
The rest of the time was a blast too. We hung out with Vince Conaway, the hammered dulcimer rock star ;)
, Craig o'Farrington
, the beautiful and fun Limey Birds
, The Tortuga Twins
, The Duelists
, The Pirate Shantyman and his Bonnie Lass, and of course, the ultimate, amazingly talented and admirably humble Owain Phyfe
. We were truly blessed with some amazing musicians and friends. It was a delight.
Then, of course, we could not help but be even more blessed and thankful to be hosted by Haeuser family. They are wonderful people.
I also got one of the coolest Christmas presents outside of my Amazon.com WishList
. It was Emilee Rush who is a brilliant photographer in Oklahoma City
area. She took my rocking autoharp picture you see as my userpic. But she made Andrew and me each a photo album filled with pictures she's taken of us at most of our gigs this past year. It's like a visual journal of everything we've done this year. It's too cool!
All in all a great adventure. OH! And I also got a few compliments for my new kilt I got from Things Celtic
. The temperature was cold most of the weekend, but I was surprised how easy it was nonetheless wearing the kilt.
Okay, time to forage through a few hundred email now. Slainte!