Sunday, March 18, 2007

St. Patrick's Weekend Update

As Meg took the camera to D.C. for the weekend, I have no pictures for you.

It all started on Friday afternoon. Donnybrook had a gig at the Stoughton Opera House. Actually, it wasn't a typical gig in that it was actually a concert. (Crazy stuff, I know! People actually sitting quietly and listening.) Since I had to drop Meg off at the airport around 2:00, this would have put me in Stoughton around 4:00, which was about 2 hours too early. My original plan was the spend the extra time at a coffee shop there, but then, as I was driving down I-90, I remembered that I would be passing by a very special place. Thirty minutes later, I found myself in The Fold. As I entered, Toni Neil, the proprietor, greeted me warmly along with Eric (Erik?), her lovely German Shepherd. "You must be on your way to somewhere," she said, knowing full well that I often stop whenever I'm passing through. We had a very pleasant chat for about an hour, and I bought two skeins of Socks That Rock. I don't have the pictures here yet for you, but the colorways are County Clare (I'm a sucker for Irish names), and In The Navy (a very awesome navy blue for my feet).

I showed Toni Kai, and she now has a burning desire to learn how to knit continental so that she can try stranded colorwork. As I gave her encouragement about learning continental, she gave me encouragement about spinning something lighter than carpet-weight yarn. "Don't worry," she said, "I started off that way, too. It just takes practice to let the yarn spin itself." I'll have to pick up the wheel this week and give it another try.

The Stoughton gig was fun though a bit sad. I don't think I've mentioned this before, but Davey and Liz (the two lead singers) are married. That's been just fine up until recently, when they separated. Liz no longer sings with us regularly, and the band dynamic has really been different. We all knew that Stoughton would quite possibly be the last gig that we did with her. It's such a shame that it has to be this way; she has a tremendous voice and adds just the right balance to the band. Maybe after wounds heal in a year or two, she will come back. None of us, though, are counting on it.

I actually enjoyed my St. Patrick's Day this year. See, more often than not, St. Pat's is a test of an Irish musician's endurance rather than a whole lot of fun. This year, though, we only played one normal-length gig up at Mickey Finn's Brewery in Libertyville. The stage was in a big party tent behind the pub. Casey, Amy, and Cindy, my good friends from college, came out to see us (as well as Casey's parents who came all the way from Valparaiso). Casey was my "little" brother in Alpha Phi Omega (but two inches taller than me at 6'6"), and Amy was a Little 500 bicycle race teammate. They are married, have two kids, and now live in Lake Bluff after having spent two years in Hawaii. How the time does fly!

I'm off to the Hidden Shamrock this afternoon for some tunes.

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