Sunday, November 19, 2006

St. Mark the Evangelist

What a blessed night playing for the festival dinner at St. Mark the Evangelist here on the south side of Indy! The pitch-in dinner was fabulous, complete with chicken and noodles. The people were so kind and made us feel very welcome. It's always fun to be part of a group of people having a good time. Lots of folks came out to enjoy fun, food and fellowship, and we're thankful to have been part of it.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

First Time

It was third Friday last night, so I was back at Corner Coffee but with a new twist. Our charming hostess, Eli Beth, was feeling a little under the weather, so she asked if I would host. Being my first time hosting an open stage, I was a little nervous, but a good assortment of performers showed up. We ended up having a really good time.

Caleb Hawkins was there and played a good set on guitar, banjo and mandolin (not all at the same time). Daver Sparks was relieved of his duties as barrista long enough to play a short set that included a couple of originals.

Eric Murtough was there in shirt and tie having just come from work. He's a young performer with a real gift, and he improves every time I hear him.

Chris Wolf played a set as only Chris can play 'em. He was there with several copies of his new CD, Better Be Scared. The CD features many of Chris's originals and will be available on soon.

As the evening wound down, Steve Shaeffer played an amazing set of classic, jazz and rock guitar. The only appropriate word is "awesome."

Thanks to a great group of performers, my first hosting experience was a good one, and thanks for the opportunity, Eli!

Regional Assembly

The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Indiana held its biennial assembly last weekend. This is the region where I serve in ministry, so I was very involved and very busy during the days and weeks leading up to it. Toward the end of this week, a couple of people asked if I had recovered from the assembly yet. If they'd asked on Monday, I would have said I was doing great, but as the week wore on, I knew I really needed this weekend and the upcoming holiday.

It was a great assembly though, a great opportunity to renew acquaintances and make new Hoosier friends. The assembly, although busy, provided a couple of opportunites to play. Roots and Branches opened up on Saturday morning. Then during the Saturday evening worship service, some members of Divine Intervention played alongside Phoebe.

Now that I've rested up a bit, there are pictures posted on the web site.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

A good cause, a good time

Friday night it was back to Corner Coffee for a benefit. Some of the staff at the coffee house were holding the benefit for an Indy-based charity that works with AIDS orphans in Zimbabwe. Several excellent performers were there, and they raised over $800. It was a good night all around. Eli Beth was there, as was Dave Spears. It was a great night to hear some local songwriters who were new to me. Hopefully, they'll come back for open stage in a couple of weeks.

During my set, Eli asked if I knew "Christmas in Prison," a John Prine song. I used to do it, but it's been long enough that Debbie had never heard me sing it. I did what I could remember, but by breakfast on Saturday morning the little man in my brain that retrieves song lyrics had put all the pieces back together. That song will go back in the repertoire for a while.

Next weekend, it will be great to rejoin Roots and Branches at the Indiana regional assembly of the Disciples and then to sing and play with Phoebe Spier. It will be a busy weekend but a great one.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Music and sanity

It's been hectic on the job lately. A lot of events and deadlines are all hitting at the same time. Thankfully, I work with great colleagues who handle pressure with humor. Nothing like a good laugh to relieve the pressure.

When the stress gets high, I wear out more guitar strings. Playing music is a form of prayer for me. It's one of my spiritual disciplines. And when the pressure's on, the spirit needs nurture.

Music and sanity. They just go together.