Why we like to play for parties.
Bob and I want to get more wedding and party gigs, we've decided this is the life. You show up on time and that's half the battle - it's not your problem whether there's an audience or not, you can't take it personally - you don't have to sell your music or give introductions - everybody is in a good mood and disposed to enjoy the tunes - the food is usually good - we can practice stuff we're just learning - in sum, in some ways better than a concert.
Tonight we played and sang Scottish music for a 40th wedding anniversary. It was held at a huge house with a lovely back yard on a lake. I guess because this was a fairly Scottish crowd, there were a lot of strawberry blonds of all ages.
Approximately a dozen dogs were also in attendance, ranging in size from a huge puffy round one (Hannah used to call these 'table dogs' because they're so broad in the beam you can balance things on them) to little bitty ones being carried around by toddlers. One dog was wearing a ruffled taffeta outfit. There was also a horse, which had been washed for the occasion.
One guest looked familiar, but it took me a few minutes to remember who he was: Robert (Ricky) Weiss, Artistic Director of the Carolina Ballet. I'd met him a couple times when Terry Teachout came to town and took me to his productions.
Ricky told me Terry once sprained his thumb in this very backyard playing volleyball. (It was hard for me to wrap my mind around the idea of Terry playing volleyball, but then I remembered that at my house he picked up a paintbrush and knew how to use it. He's a man of many abilities.)
After we'd played an hour of Scottish music, we decided to play a Polish waltz we'd brought along. To our astonishment, a Polish couple suddenly materialized out of the crowd, and the husband said: "This was my mother's favorite song," and he sang along as we played.
The party finished with cake and champagne. Our hosts brought us both, and told us we were great and played exactly what they'd hoped for. Hah!
Tomorrow we'll be at the Festival for the Eno at 12:15. The musician following us on the Grove Stage is John McCutcheon, famous around my house because I've cued up the first track on his "Howjadoo" cd, a perfect birthday song, just after cutting every single birthday cake baked in my house during the past 23 years. "Rubber Blubber Whale," on the same cd, is one of my favorite songs of all time.