In an effort to recreate the insanity that was our Fall tour (even just a few weeks later), all the images start blurring together. Thankfully we have a memory aid – the iPhone.
Oh yes. The Sixth Floor Trio had an AMAZING time playing at the Central Vermont Chamber Music Festival (www.centralvtchambermusicfest.org), and many thanks to Peter Sanders (the festival’s music director) and our gracious hosts the Wilders (whose home is nestled cozily in the background) for making our stay so enjoyable.
However, this picture of Johnny and Teddy is highly deceptive – During our Concert at the Inn, a hurricane (the one that was supposed to hit NYC and ended up demolishing much of Vermont) chased us back to the Wilders’, and when we left the next morning, roads had been washed away and covered in trees; it was nearly impossible to get back to New York. Vermont is still recovering, and we were sorry to leave it in such a mess, but we did have a great time playing for such a wonderful community.
After a quick stopover in NYC (and acquiring a portable electronic keyboard), we made our way to Philadelphia to play our very first Random Acts of Culture (see post below for details). We took the (in)famous Megabus, and miraculously fit all of our instruments under the puny 3 seats we bought in an otherwise full bus. We really need to get a touring crate for all this stuff.
Our first ten RACs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art went quite well (see the Knight Foundation’s link in the last post for one of our more popular ones – “Pictures at an Exhibition” under Diana in the Grand Atrium). Kudos to Gabe Globus-Hoenich for doing great video work! We rewarded him in his favorite currency at Fox and Hound. Poor Teddy wasn’t doing so well on two hours of sleep.
During our two days in Philly, we also managed to somehow squeeze in four outreach concerts with Bonnie Slobodien at Astral Artists (www.astralartists.com).
We’ve enjoyed a wonderful relationship as a trio with Bonnie and all the folks at Astral over the years. We did do one (at the Stapeley Assisted Living Center) pro bono, and Bonnie very generously treated us to a seafood dinner with her family (we even got to meet her brand new grandbaby!).
At this point, we were feeling pretty dead. This is what our schedule over the last day had looked like, just to spell it out:
- Tuesday (Aug 23) – Congregate in NYC; Double Rehearsal at Lincoln Center
- Wednesday – Double Rehearsal, Repertoire Development (new tunes Cazadero and Belize)
- Thursday – Travel to Randolph, VT (3 hr bus, 3.5 hr drive); Dress Rehearsal at Chandler Hall
- Friday – Children’s Concert, Rehearsal/Work on website and logistics for Philadelphia RACs
- Saturday – Rehearsal, Half Day Off (Canoeing)
- Sunday – HURRICANE, Concert at the Inn, website, more canoeing :(), more hurricane
- Monday – 5am, start driving to New York on demolished highways; 7p reach New York (with a new keyboard)
- Tuesday – 6am bus to Philly, 10 RACs at the Art Museum and 2 community engagements concerts for Astral
- Wednesday – Rehearsal, 2 more community engagements for Astral, and two train rides
So we decide to take the next day off. What’s that? Excuse me, I mean we drive 14 hours straight to North Carolina. It didn’t help that we hit sick traffic in Delaware and Baltimore.
- Thursday – 9:30 load and leave Philly; midnight arrive in Linville, NC
After a day like that, we decided to treat ourselves to a real dinner (as Bill Abrams says, “How often do we do this?”), just before crossing into NC. Here’s another place where the Iphone came in handy – we used the Yelp app to find the best restaurant around. Of course down in Galax, Virginia, that means BBQ.
Teddy and I split the sampler plate, and they had some pretty good brisket. Not Texas good, but good. They also had one of the most original translations of Hebrew Levitical Law I’ve ever seen.
One of the best laughs I had on the trip. I’m really glad (6) applied neither to pigs nor cows.
Anyway – we got in LATE that night to Dot Griffith’s house, where we have stayed under her hospitality for three years straight now – She is a prime example of why we go back to the Western NC area time and time again – the overwhelmingly supportive community there is just unparalleled in our experience. The next day we played a fantastic outdoor concert for over 200 people at Valle Crucis Park (see two posts ago for a picture). The second we finished our last tune, enormous gusts of wind brought down one of those lightning quick coastal storms famous in the Mid-atlantic. Thankfully, in the eight minutes of wind before the rain, we managed to load all our gear in the car. The next day I left Teddy and Johnny to fend for themselves under Dot’s doting care while I spent two and a half blissful days with Leah celebrating our first wedding anniversary (as well as the actual wedding of Nick Britell and Caitlin Sullivan). Finally, a rest (not really, knowing Leah and I, but still very nice)
On my return, the trio was immediately occupied with planning a day of filming for our pilot episode of “Music of the People” – a travel show focusing on a certain location through it’s local music. Pilot Episode: bluegrass in western North Carolina. We also spent one day preparing for and playing a benefit concert for the music program at nearby Avery County High School (which my grandparents. who happened to be in the area, popped by for!), as well as having some adventure (one of Teddy’s favorite things) at one Western NC’s greatest treasures: Hawksnest Zipline.
Enough of that, blog-readers. Enjoy these tasty documented morsels for now. More to follow.