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Archive for July 28th, 2006

Busy Singing!

Friday, July 28th, 2006

The Fabulous HeftonesOh, my friends, what a good summer I’m having. I’m so busy I can barely get here to tell you about it but it’s good fun, I tell you. We are singing so much it’s my primary business this month. Loving it!

Yesterday we sang for an upscale retirement center. We’ve performed for one wedding ceremony and one wedding reception. We opened at Creole Gallery, we sang in the garden at Applewood in Flint. We sang twice at Magdalena’s Teahouse, once for our CD release party. We sang for thirty retirees at a luncheon and a half dozen for a birthday party on a deck surrounded by trees and flowers. We jammed nonstop for three days at the Evart Dulcimer FunFest and are looking forward to another three-day jamfest at Wheatland Music Festival in September. We helped our friend Bob McCarthy at the Meridian Historical Society and we played at Altu’s Ethiopian Cuisine as we often do.

Next Friday we are playing with Thomas Boles/Waypastfrown (of California) and “Daniel The Minstrel” Cook at Gone Wired Cybercafe on Michigan Avenue, show starts at 8pm. Who knows what might come up soon? On August 26 we are in Kalamazoo at Coopers’ Glen Music Festival and we just got word we are playing in Warren for a Banjo gathering in October. And we have been invited back to New York (city) Ukefest next April already. Things are singingly lovely these days.

We are particularly enjoying our private engagements. There is nobody as appreciative of our music as a retiree who grew up singing this genre of music. They sing right along and smile through the whole concert! It is these groups who fill out our schedule and make us know that we are on the right track.

However, I am also relishing my attempts to get this wonderful kind of music in front of a generation or two who have never heard it before. This was the popular music in the USA, in the 1920s, when my Gramma Ruthie was a young woman. It’s engergetic, emotional, saucy, fun and sentimental. And more.

It’s music written when a song was created by at least two guys who were paid full time to write. One guy made a melody, and one or two more guys would write lyrics. They did this all day every day. They got really good, no surprise! They didn’t take time to go perform the music, they just finished one song and started up on the next. No wonder the music is so finely crafted. You just get better every time you do something.

I’m not surprised that music written in this sort of system is great. And it’s no wonder that some of these songs still persist though almost none of us still alive were around when it was the music of the day. Since no singer wrote the music, one song might be performed by dozens of popular singers. The music got around! And I still sing April Showers (1921, download our recording of it here if you like) whenever we have a spring rain. It just makes me feel good.

OK, back to my pattern designer business… one day it’s singing, the next it’s counting stitches and photographing samples. I never get bored!

Photo: Brian and I performing as The Fabulous Heftones, at the wedding reception of Ann and Steve last Saturday.