Oh, The Weather Outside Is @$#%! Insane
After a busy beginning to November, and a pretty hectic Thanksgiving, I flew to Manhattan, Kansas on the 24th for the GreenFin Gardens Kansas Songwriter Showcase and performed three shows at the Wareham Opera House along with a collective of Kansas singer/songwriters. The Wareham is a lovely old movie house in the middle of downtown Manhattan, right in the center of the action. The forecast called for snow on the 25th and I was staying at the Candlewood Suites, just around the corner from the venue, which was festooned with a gorgeous holidays lights festival display.
In case there was a vastly different landscape in the morning, I took some pictures of the display (temperatures were in the 60’s, it felt a bit like spring) and settled in for the night. As it turns out, the forecast was modestly correct because morning brought on Winter Storm Bruce and a record-breaking blizzard that proceeded to cancel our three remaining shows.
Though disappointed about the canceled shows, I was delighted to experience my very first blizzard and went walking around in it like a complete and total idiot. Good thing the hotel had a pantry where food could be purchased because the blizzard also canceled my departing flight and I ended up stuck in Manhattan for an extra couple of days. With Bruce wreaking havoc across the country, I felt pretty blessed to have a room in town within walking distance of restaurants (at least the ones that were open.)
Unfortunately, Christie Lenée got stuck in the storm and couldn’t even make it to Manhattan, instead spending five hours snowed in at a truckstop along the shut-down interstate. I was looking forward to making music with her again - we had met at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield and hit it off, jamming together on her set. I joined Christie again on the 18th of November at Straz Center in Tampa and the Kansas show came about as a result of our involvement at Stage 11 at Winfield, so we were both named honorary Kansas songwriters. Eventually, Christie and I both made it back home to Florida and Bruce finally fizzled away, but not before creating even more travel disruption in Illinois and Michigan on its way east.
As I mentioned in my last blog, some exciting booking news, and it has to do with Winfield. I heard from the Walnut Valley Festival board and they invited me back for next year’s hoedown, which will make my third year in a row as a featured performer. The weekend after, I’ll be making my debut at the Ouibache Music Festival in West Lafayette, Indiana, so it’s looking like a nice little fall tour is shaping up already.
I’m feeling blessed - it is a blessing to find constant work as a musician because there are so many of us out here doing what we do. I’m always grateful when venues reach out to me without the need to bang on their doors and hope that they’ll let me in.
Production piled up a bit during the storm, so I’m hunkering down, now that interstate travel is over for the year, and getting ready for what promises to be a very busy Christmas season!