September 9, 2007


I remember a Robert Fulghum story about dancing at a bar. As I recall, he noted that sometimes there was nothing there but people drinking and music--but occasionally, just occasionally, the magic happened and people experience something better.

I remember my cousin's outdoor wedding in Colorado. There was much about the wedding that was a bit hokey. No offense to my cousin, but when the grooms all rode in horseback, I have to admit I rolled my eyes just a bit. But they are ranchers and rodeo people and that is what they wanted. We then had barbecue and the live band played for people to dance. But no one really danced and we all looked at each other. Then an afternoon storm came through in typical Colorado high country fashion. It was brief and not even that severe, but we had to take cover for a bit. And when the rain lifted, something magical had happened. People danced and truly smiled at each other. Magic.

Tonght we went down to the local park to hear a trio of fine musicians--Kevin Welch, Kieran Kane, and Fats Kaplan. They started on stage and then the rain started coming down. Not hard, but enough to irritate. Kaplan had to put his fiddle away and we were losing the evening. They decided to move into the gazebo and play an accoustic set with limited sound.

So we crowded in and they were so good. All three of them played with such talent. Welch plays the accoustic guitar the way I dream of doing--flatpicking and turning the guitar into a percussion instrument (almost). Kane and Kaplan played several instruments--and all of them well. And the harmonies were the kind that make you smile. As SOF and I listened, she looked at me and said, "if this doesn't perk someone up, they are made of stone." I agree.

Live music has its own challenges. You know, like the jackass behind you talking on his cell phone. Or the giant black lab that joined the group in the gazebo. Or the woman who tripped over the microphone.

Or the little kids peering through the rails of the gazebo. My cell isn't the best camera, but I think you can see what I am talking about.

As Old Lodgeskins said, "sometimes the magic works, and sometimes it doesn't." Tonight it did. Pure magic.

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