Notes from the Road – 12/11/08 Sarasota House Concert A few months ago I was contacted by Jo Legg down in Sarasota about performing for a “roving” house concert series in which she participates. It combines two social events – a supper club where a set group of friends meet monthly at a rotating host’s house for a dinner with the host providing the main course and the others bringing the side dishes, deserts, etc. The other facet is the house concert attended only by those who are members of the supper club. Each member of the club pays a fee which goes to the entertainer. It’s an excellent concept that I recommend highly. The weather truly sucked in Orlando this morning as I made preparations to leave. However, the rain gods were kind enough to let me get mostly loaded before cutting loose. It was only in hooking up the camper to the car that I finally got a dose of steady pelting. I was on the road by 2 p.m. and, ironically, the rain stopped within 20 minutes of me getting on the road. But, I got $1.51 per gallon gas just before the I-75 exit north of Tampa – WOOHOO!! I guess this is the “little gas piglet tour” at those prices. Hey OPEC – Kiss My . . . oh . . . uh . . . harrumph . . . but I digress. I’m staying tonight and tomorrow at Sun ‘n Fun just off I-75 in Sarasota – HUGE RV park and a lot of full time residents. This isn’t your State Park or festival type venue and even with my white hair and beard I look quite young around here. But, a very nice and comfortable place and I brought home with me so I’m all set. By a little before 5 p.m. I was on site, changed and ready to get some grub (they’ve got a restaurant on the premises that ain’t half bad and pretty cheap too!). Then, off to the show. House concerts are my favorite type of show. It is basically just what it sounds like – a concert in someone’s home. They can be small, like this one at the Legg’s home (14 people) or quite large (50 – 100 people). It all depends on the available space, indoors or out. Typically folks attending the show pay $10 - $25. The show generally consists of two sets by the entertainer of 30 – 45 minutes each with a break in the middle for coffee, CD sales, etc. Smaller shows can be done fully acoustic (no sound system, mics, etc.), but some settings require a little amplification (provided either by the host or the performer). It is a very relaxed, intimate show that allows for a lot of interaction between the audience and the artist. And, it is always a treat for both since everyone is there to hear and appreciate the music. If you haven’t been to a house concert, research shows in your area and go – you’ll be instantly hooked. If you’ve never thought of hosting a house concert consider it. It’s simple and fun – if you’d like to know more about the nuts and bolts, let me know and I’ll point you to some great resources on the subject. Favorite tunes in tonight’s show (though they LOVED them all, OF COURSE!!) seemed to be Yellow Butter Moon, Hemingway’s Hurricane, Sinner’s Song, Break Some Stones and This Old House. I played two sets of 30 minutes + or – each with a break in the middle for DESSERT!! Alas, I am dieting (sort of) in an effort to lose enough weight so that I cease having my own gravity, so I didn’t partake of the assorted chocolate and sugary edibles waved repeatedly under my nose. But, I drank some coffee (decaf of course) and tried to convince myself that the desserts probably weren’t that good anyway (since folks were taking seconds and thirds – might have even seen one fourth – I doubt I was right about the low quality of the fare). A terrific show with wonderful new friends. So now I’m back at the camper sipping a little brown whiskey (but not snacking – NO SNACKING – ARGGGGGGG!!!) I figured I’d check in with you guys and let you know what I’m up to. Right now I’m up to tomorrow so time to get some Zs – Night night.