Shanty reflections

Whewie!  Saturday night was one of those gigs – the kind where chaos somehow swirls into delightfully imperfect moments of musical bliss and it is crystal clear, though impossible to aptly put into words, why we play live music… There were babies bouncing along to the tunes, over-due catching up with friends, attentive and supportive locals, and of course, good vibrations.

The infusion of Josh on the electric 5 string fiddle for a good portion of the night kept me on my toes and in the moment.  We had fun on DMB’s “Dancing Nancies”, “The Stone”, and “Pig” and John Mayer’s “Why Georgia”, slipping in my originals “Mountain Trail”, “Miner’s Lament”, and “Amens Hallelujahs”.

Adding Sander on bass for a few trio jams (The Rolling Stone’s “Can’t always get what you want” and “Sympathy for the Devil”, our own “Bodies”, “Holding On”, and “Slug” ) was great – and I couldn’t help but announce to everyone that it was the first time Sander and Josh had ever jammed, drawing attention to a) their stellar musicianship and b) one of those “music as a universal language” reminders.

Sander and I also had some neat duo versions of “Bohemian”, “Soft Spoken Prophet”, “Drop these Blues”, “Tea with Einstein”, and Bill Wither’s “Sweet Wanomi”.

I used my brief solo interludes to try a few new covers, including Harry Chapin’s “Circle” (for my in-laws anniversary!) , My Morning Jacket’s “Wonderful” (with Lauren singing harmonies), Umphreys McGee’s “Front Porch”, and The Bridge’s “Bury my Bones in Baltimore” (with Raven’s lyrics in verse 2 a la The Bridge at Ladew Gardens on 7/10/11).

There was a nice group of folks who stuck around ’till the very end, asking for more – we thought a lively version of “Sympathy for the Devil” would be a great way to wrap up the night.  After that, we got chatting and it turned out our song choice was ironic because they all met through their home worship / bible study type group (One gentleman said “we don’t have any sympathy for the devil” to which a lady graciously followed up “but we loved your rendition”).  I got a chuckle from that and decided it’d be far more appropriate to end with “One Day” by Matisyahu, during which I literally got goosebumps from knowing how deeply the words were striking everyone in ear-shot.

Thanks again to the good folks at Shanty for having us, and especially to all our friends and family in attendance.  We’ll do our best to build on the great positive momentum from this gig.  ‘Till next time…

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