As some of you know, I'm a board member of a non-profit group called the Foothill Folk Society, a group dedicated to promoting and preserving the music and arts of our beloved Appalachian foothill area. For the past 10+ winters we have put on a free concert in the auditorium/theater at the Chillicothe, Ohio branch of Ohio University. Each year we have a different theme for the performance. This year's theme was "Love Lost and Love Found". All the performers/groups were to play one song about love lost and another about love found and also recite a poem (or song lyric) about love.
I was asked over a month ago to play but knowing that there were several of the best musicians from our area willing to play, I declined and said I would only play if there weren't enough acts. As I figured, we soon had plenty of great musicians lined up for the evening. At one of our planning meetings I mentioned that I had looked in a dictionary and was surprised at all the definitions related to the subject of love. We decided that reading some of the definitions would be a great way to start the show, and I agreed to do this small part.
The show was scheduled for this evening (Saturday) and I had my small part prepared and ready at least a week beforehand. Two days ago I was informed that there was a chance that I may also be needed to fill in as the MC for the show. I agreed to do it if necessary. On Friday evening we unloaded PA equipment, did sound checks, and worked on stage lighting. It was then that I found out that the old-time banjo player who usually sits on stage and plays "ambiance" music for the 30-45 minutes between the time the doors open and the show starts was going to be a no-show so I volunteered to play my recently purchased all-mahogany Alvarez MPA66SHB parlor guitar. I have it strung with "Nashville High-Tune" strings and when played with metal finger picks it sounds similar to a mountain dulcimer.
So tonight the show opened at 7:00, I sat and finger-picked for about a half-hour before the show started, then read the "love " definitions to begin the show and then performed the duties of the MC for the night, introducing the acts (there were some incredible musicians) filling in spots with stories when needed, and appealing to the audience to open their wallets and contribute to our local food bank to help feed our poor neighbors (something we do each show).
At the end of each show we gather all the performers on stage to do a final song together to end the night. I was asked to sing one of the verses of "My Girl" (by the Temptations) I had not planned on it but since it's one of my favorite songs, I belted out the second verse.
Great night of music, received a lot of kind words from the audience afterward and on Monday will deliver a truck load of food to the Good Sam food bank (entire bed and back seat of my crew cab Dodge is filled with canned goods) along with $713.00 in donations.
A busy but enjoyable evening.