Sunday, September 14, 2008

House Concert at MacLean and Temperance

No run this morning. It’s a drive day, and we are meeting in the hotel lobby for breakfast at 8:30. It’s the breakfast buffet, and we are on our way by 9 o’clock. We drive through Fredericton, catch the river road to Moncton, NB, and see deer on the highway in town as we are leaving. It must have been a good party the night before. The whole town is sleeping.

Before too long we’re up the road and into Nova Scotia. The sky looks like this-

We have a quick stretch before heading on to New Glasgow where we will be playing a house concert this afternoon. I like the big old houses in New Glasgow, and have some family connections to the area. My great-grandfather, according to the local newspaper, “left town on the early morning train,” while widows and orphans gathered outside his offices in hopes of recovering their savings. I’m hoping Pickett and I can exit half as gratefully after our show!

The concert is near the intersection of MacLean and Temperance, go figure that one!— and we are met at the door by our hosts Jim Stewart and EmmaLee. Michael and Jim are old friends, so when Michael demands “where’s the food, Jim?” we are actually served a wonderful pre-show brunch.

This is the first house concert in this house, and it looks like a good one! People bring food and drinks and we settle into a very relaxed performance.

I was really impressed that the folks who came out were brave enough to ask questions during our show. At one point somebody said, “that was a really neat piece, but could you tell me what the time signatures were?” About half the audience are MacLeans, including local photographer Steven, who took some snaps for us. That’s probably why they were so nice to us. MacLeans, ya know. These were Cape Breton MacLeans, mine came to Pictou County on the Sarah and the Dove back in 1801, with my branch being run out of town back in the 1880s. This has nothing to do with our show, which was great this day. No mics, head by head- a great, all acoustic show.

By early evening the guests have said their good-byes. We have a lovely dinner cooked by Jim. Plenty of conversation. EmmaLee is a cancer survivor who has become quite active fund raising. We were amazed at her ambition and volunteered to help out next time through. Everyone is early to bed this night. Great to make new friends. I love house concerts.

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