Once upon a time there was a girl who loved to sing. She sang when she bathed. She sang when she played with dolls and ate chocolate chip cookies with her friends. She sang with her parents at night when she went to bed after prayers. She sang the "ABC song" and "Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star". She sang "The Atcheson, Topeka and the Santa Fe", "When Irish Eyes are Smiling", and songs from "the Little Mermaid", and "The Lion King".
One day her Dad, a semi-successful musician who was always looking for a good hook to get a crowd in the room (. . . . Doh!), invited her to sing a song on stage in Manitou Springs. It was held at the Castaways, in their 1950's style mod stage room. The girl wore a lovely little red dress. She was 5 years old. She did a song called "Daddy Look at My Dress", about a girl whose father had died but as she experiences her life, she knew he was always watching her from heaven. She did a beautiful job.
It seems though that the experience was too much for her. Within a few years she was frightened to death of performing. She fought any suggestion of playing for others with venom, outright refusing. She studied piano and violin and would sing but only to herself. Her parents knew she was extremely musical, but could not engage her in any type of performing. The years went by.
One day her father convinced her to sing a song for the Sweet Adelide's chorus. It was to be part of a contest for high school girls. She prepared a song from "Wicked" and easily passed the introductory event with the choir director who loved her voice. When the day of the event came and she had to sing in front of the entire chorus, however, she balked, clearly petrified. She told her father, "I cannot do this. Do not make me do this." Her father, for once, wisely said, "Okay, honey, you do no have to do this." They left together, strained and silent. More years passed.
A few months ago, her Dad asked her if she might consider playing fiddle with him as an opener for a show. She agreed. The event came, she showed up ( late ) but with fiddle in hand. She got up and despite her nerves did a lovely job. She had made a breakthrough. During the next 2 months, she sang and played violin daily, re-capturing that joy of music from her youth.
Last week, this girl (well, young woman) got up in front of 70 people and sang and fiddled and made it look easy. It was a bit surreal. No one could believe she had ever had stage fright. She smiled, danced, swayed, harmonized, joked and pretty much stole the show. Her father was . . . speechless . . . almost.
Sometimes life is just really hard. You try to make good decisions. You try to support people on their journey. You put a smile on your face and do the best work that you can, even when you are dying inside. Nothing makes sense and you are unsure where you are going and whether you are doing anything worthwhile in the world.
And sometimes, you have a moment, when you actually believe you've done something fine, something special, something good for the world, something to be proud of. And you realize it wasn't about you this time, and you are just glad to be in the presence of someone else that you love who is shining and glorious and beautiful. I had one of those moments last week. And it was so very good.
Sat. May 26th "Soiree" 1003 S. Tejon St. 7:30 – 9pm $10. $5 students. If you missed last Sat. night, I just received an opportunity (this morning) from a new "Bar and Events" business which opened a couple months ago on S. Tejon St. called "Soiree". It is owned by Michaela Hightower former events manager at Venue 515 in Manitou. In any case, she asked me to come look at the place and I loved it so much (with it's high end beers/wines and cool liquor bar) art deco lighting and all around East Coast vibe that I am going to do it. Reservations are required (contact me) but you do not have to pay in advance. The venue will be fairly intimate 60-70 seats. It is REALLY cool though. Just across the street from Luigi's Restaurant. Come out and see the Father/Daughter tandem (alias "He, She, U").
Here is the complete summertime schedule.
Wed. June 6th. Hillside Gardens Concert Series
Wed. June 6th. Hillside Gardens Concert Series. 6:30pm – 8:30pm. South Institute about 2 blocks south of Fountain Blvd. Lovely concert venue, one of the nicest out door situations around. Great view of Pikes Peak.
Sat. June 9th. Penrose, CO
Sat. June 9th. Penrose, CO. Coyote Coffee Highway 115 just north of lovely, desolate downtown Penrose. One of my favorite shows of the year. 6-9pm all original and traditional sing along songs. Magic every show. Patriotic leanings. W/ Katie U.
Fri. June 15th Woodland Park
Fri. June 15th Woodland Park, CO Cowbell's 6-9pm. 214 W. Midland Ave. 80863 687-4334 Very cool store in downtown W. Park. My first time there, but my friend Rich Currier plays there regularly on Friday nights. If you can't see me, go see him! He is wonderful
June 16th, April Verch
April Verch is coming on June 16th.
I heard about April through some traditional/bluegrass loving friends of mine. As you know, I rarely take a risk on a new artist. This will be the first time she's played in C.Springs so we kind of lucked out. She became the first woman in history to win both of Canada’s most prestigious fiddle championships, the Grand Masters and Canadian Open; and when Canada hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics, she was asked to represent her country’s music at the opening ceremonies. Umm yeah. I am really excited about this show. Spread the word. Word of mouth is everything!
Date: Sat. June 16th
Place: High Plains Church UU 1825 Dominion C.S. CO 80905 Behind 3 Margaritas.
Cost: $15 Prepay. $18 at the door. First 75 prepay tickets will get reserved seating in the front.
Time: 8pm Doors open at 7pm. No opener.
Roots and Blues Concert Series
Thurs. June 21st. West Side Community Center in Old Colorado City. Part of a Third Thursday of the month Roots and Blues concert series. Sponsored by the Colorado Springs Blues Society 5-9pm $5 at the door. Take 17th north from Colorado 3 blocks and look for the old school. Follow the signs. With Phil Ginsburg, and another guest TBA.
June 23rd Olive Branch Restaurant
June 23rd Olive Branch Restaurant. With Jim Sokol and KJ Braithwaite
One of my few beer drinking engagements for you social drinkers. Smile. Joined by Mark Meltzer on harp.
Friday, June 29th Green Mt. Falls
Friday, June 29th Green Mt. Falls “The Pantry”. In the tiny strip mall facing the lake. Lovely tinkling lights, Americana food, interactive show. 6-9pm
Sat. July 7th First Christian Church Labyrinth
Sat. July 7th First Christian Church Labyrinth Corner of Cascade/Platte. 6:30 – 7:30pm Bring lawn chair. With Special guest TBA.
Tues. July 24th Secret Garden
Tues. July 24th Secret Garden 7-9:30pm $5 cover. Again, a very cool outdoor show, but under the big top tent. 420 S. 19th St. http://www.ckretgarden.com/
Sat. July 28th Creede, CO.
Sat. July 28th Creede, CO. The Creede Hotel. I'll be performing for the Kelvin Clark Slumgullian Tour, the quintessential recumbent bike tour of Colorado. I'll be actually doing the tour this year with my son Andrew. I promise I will play for 34 minutes and then have to retire from leg cramps while leaning on my son's shoulders. Come join us!
Fri. Aug. 3rd. Green Mt. Falls
Fri. Aug. 3rd. Green Mt. Falls, The Pantry again. 6-9pm.
Sat. Aug 4th Olive Branch
Sat. Aug 4th Olive Branch with Special guest TBA. Probably Katie Uveges. (wink)
Sat. Aug. 11th. Acacia Park Concert Series
Sat. Aug. 11th. Acacia Park Concert Series. Downtown C.S. 6-8pm. With special guests, and incredible songwriters Lindsay Weidmann and Jeremy Facknitz.
That's what I've got coming up folks.
I'm taking a bit of a break. If you have a 60th birthday party, or anniversary, or want to set up a house concert, I'd love you to contact me. Go in peace, but bring a little rhythm to the going. Blessings Joe