Friday, March 10, 2006

The winter bluegrass weekend was a success by any measure. MBOTMA has a huge group of volunteers and the whole thing was as smooth as it could be. My duties as President of the Board were pretty much non-existent. We had a general membership meeting Sunday morning that I presided over and that was the extent of it. There was a group who played there that was really impressive. The group name was Foghorn. They are an old timey band and they nailed it. Excellent, driving rhythm with wonderful tone and great voices. It was kind of like the New Lost City Ramblers with memberships to the gym. The sets I played with my two bands went well too. Folks said it was the best they had ever heard Ivory Bridge. We had practiced our set a lot, including seamless transitions and no talking or screwing around with capos, tunings or whatever. It worked; we sounded really tight and we were comfortable with all the changes and the arrangements. It was a joy. In typical fashion, I played really hot during all the warm-up sessions. I was improvising really well and I was the master of the beat. On stage it is always a different story. I did okay, but I wasn't magical like I had hoped I would be. This is the way of performance. All my life I have experienced this strange juju about performance. There would be performances I would play where I could not hit a note wrong all night; I was just plain hot; I swung, was lyrical, made cool stuff up, and just plain blew my own socks off. No comment from any listeners. Then there would be nights that I wished I could have spontaneously combusted or disappeared down a big hole I played so poorly. Folks could'nt wait to tell me how great my playing was. Go figure. I guess I just don't get the cosmic jokes so I am doomed to be the butt of them. This weekend The Middle Spunk Creek Boys are playing a mini-festival up north with a couple of other bands and we are all guests of the LaPlant family. Lloyd LaPlant makes guitars and mandolins. Just about every "A" player in Minnesota has a LaPlant guitar or mandolin. They are super sweet sounding and beautiful to look at. It should be fun. The LaPlants also like to pick and they enjoy the same type of tunes I do and so I am looking forward to it.

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