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I Love-Love-Love the Creole Gallery!

Creole GalleryThursday night was so much fun I can not even explain. It was a good-sized crowd full of ukulele fans, Travis Harrelson fans, Fabulous Heftone fans, and Creole Gallery fans. Such a good crowd it was!

Fabulous Heftones at Creole GalleryWe were the opening act. We sang and it really felt that everyone was totally with us, every note. I am a performer who is very intent on relationship, and when I sing I do my best to go around the room and sing at least a few notes to everyone whose face I can see. At the Creole, I can see the audience well from the stage and I was able to enjoy singing directly to many people.

Travis Harrelson at Creole GalleryAfter our set the audience (and the management, which matters more) asked for an encore, which is not a usual thing for an opening act. (Our job is to get up there, make people smile, and get down before the energy lags.) The extra song was an honor. But the excitement was yet to come… Travis Harrelson was delightful.

Travis Harrelson, Tom T. Ball and Gerald Ross at Creole GalleryHe did some songs I’d never heard before, songs perhaps I should have known my whole life. He has a way of playing the uke like nobody else… he strums, picks, dances on those strings. It was wonderful.

Gerald Ross and Tom T. Ball on guitar and bass respectively, really rounded out a lot of the numbers for the show. And then when they could talk Mr. Harrelson into doing a few numbers alone… well, that was a real treat as well. He is something of an intimate performer, it was like he was whispering directly to me. As a singer I enjoyed those solo pieces very much.

Travis Harrelson at Creole GalleryThere were so many Ukulele friends there! One wonderful surprise was Peter “Madcat” Ruth, who lives in Ann Arbor. He has been known for harmonica for a very long time but we played on the same stage with him last March (?) in Ann Arbor, he has a relatively new CD featuring ukulele and it’s wonderful. In fact we’d been listening to it Thursday morning with our friend Bob who came up from Cincinnati for the event… and there he was at the concert! Very exciting to see him again… he’s such a warm person, I really just love seeing him any time at all. And our friends Bruce and Karol from the Evart Dulcimer Fun Fest were there as well, another surprise treat from out of town.

Frog and the Beeftones at Unicorn Bar, Old Town LansingAfter the show, we walked around the corner (this is the Old Town Main Street area which is getting quite fun and funky these days) and popoed into the Unicorn Bar to hear our friend Frog perform with his band. When we got there, Madcat was sitting in with them on harmonica. More special treats! However, it was so loud we could not talk, so we danced one number and then left.

A group of us (the performers, the organizers and a few friends from out of town) went out for dinner and then the night ended too soon. It was a wonderful, wonderful day!

Photos: 1) Audience at Creole Gallery. 2) Brian and I near the stage (photo taken after the show by Oren… thanks bunches, Oren!) 3-5) Three photos of Travis Harrelson in concert, one with Tom T. Ball on Bass and Gerald Ross on guitar. 6) Frog and band with Madcat Ruth on harmonica.

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