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Greatest Stories Live - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
Greatest Stories Live
That was the name of the only Harry Chapin album I ever owned in vinyl- a casualty of the 1991 ice storm. Many things came full Circle last night, including seeing that his daughter Jen brought vinyl copies of her latest album Reckoning to sell at the show.  Despite it being booked on very short notice and with at least one other folk gig going downtown at the same time, word of mouth brought a decent crowd and the Friends of Folk Music actually made a little on the night- not their goal, but always a nice thing.

The opener was a local performer named Sonny Mayo.

So local, he talked about his days growing up in the village, and Eleanor recognized him from the store. I picked up one of his CDs with the song he ended the set with; I'd already bought Jen's two most recent albums, and when I saw she was also selling a live disk in honor of her dad's 70th birthday, she graciously gifted it on the spot.  She also solved a mystery from a few months back: the little girl in the Youtube of a full Harry Chapin concert from 1978?

Not her. She said she never went onstage when her dad was performing, though she does remember piping up  during an interview.

That tribute album contains a live version of "Tangled Up Puppet," the one song from Harry's repertoire that she performed on the night, written (as was "Cat's in the Cradle") by Jen's mom and dad.  The rest were mostly songs from Linger and Reckoning, the two recent ones I've been coming to know since this performance came together.  The title track from Linger wound up with an ironic twist for me- I'd forgotten the line in it that goes I like to linger in the cool of the grass/ When I fall on my ass in the dew. After my buttplant outside the gym not twelve hours before, it seemed fitting;)


I wondered a little how well her richly-produced album tracks would come out on an acoustic stage without a full band.  She answered that quickly: quite well. Jen has an awesome ability to provide her own percussion by hand, even while playing guitar, and her accompanist, Jamie Foxx, did the rest:

She introduced a new song, played for the first time at her gig in the North Country last night: a pastor contacted her, asking for a song for his daughter who is questioning her own sexuality and wanting assurance that things are going to be okay for her in these troubling times.  It's a beautiful piece, if not entirely named yet, but likely "No More Secrets" or "Secret's Out" will be in contention.  She also challenged us to be aware of what's going on in the world: the words from this song from Linger are both a reality and a warning-

We are passive people
At the end of the day
We let the outrage melt away
It seems that life is so much easier that way
We are passive people
There's a lot that we can take
Our hearts will dry up before they break
No questions asked, just invisible ache

while this newer song, which she asked us to join on the chorus, called on us to be better than that-

solitary voices become one
building of a new world has begun
shopworn gospel brought back in the sun
human evolution never done

it’s gonna take a long time but we’re not going away...

No, we're not.


I got a thank you from the stage for helping to put this event into motion.  I brought several friends who experienced this night and kind of music and really enjoyed it. Eleanor also got to meet the ones who came from my office, and we ran into another old friend from a former gym whose sister was the emcee for the night.  A small world, but a more beautiful one.

The dog park is closed for a few weeks, and with the late night and time change, our usual outing this morning was later and in a nearer state park.  It's still bitter cold, but the sun's been out all day, and we're waiting to see how a major storm tracks starting tomorrow, which could bear on (or bear down on) where I'm scheduled to be in the middle of the week.  At least there's lots of good new music to keep us:)

3 comments or Leave a comment
greenquotebook From: greenquotebook Date: March 12th, 2017 07:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nice! I had the pleasure of seeing her perform live during my (very) short time at Oxygen Media. Stephan wasn't playing with them? Odd, that.
captainsblog From: captainsblog Date: March 12th, 2017 08:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
This was just a quick one-off (well, two-off: they played Oop North the night before), and they do have kids. Stephen's on the shows at the end of the tour, including one in Binghamton in a few weeks:

greenquotebook From: greenquotebook Date: March 17th, 2017 07:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Jen is my best friend's cousin, so I know all about Maceo and Van. :) Stephan usually plays with her, though, so I wondered. Shame she never gets down this way, because I think the hubby would enjoy seeing her. Much more his style of music than mine.
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