Day 72: Interstate Tour 2018
As it turned out, "the long way" to Averill Park, New York from Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, was only 30 minutes longer than "the short way" which skirted New Jersey and New York City, meaning that traffic was pretty sucky and I made the right choice.
It was a better choice anyway - beautiful vistas and scenery in western PA and NY - a sweet, fairly short drive (313 miles) that I made in about five hours. Along the way, Imua crossed a big milestone: 200,000 miles! When I bought her three years ago, she had around 109,000 miles on her from time spent as a fleet rental vehicle for El Monte RV, so only slightly less than 100,000 of those miles were driven with me at the wheel. Thankfully, the engine doesn't have that much travel time on it, since it was fully replaced in 2016. I arrived in Troy, NY, found some WiFi and took care of some biz before heading over to Sand Lake Center For The Arts and setting up.
CarolLynn Langley has been organizing these events for about six or seven years and it's really helped me to gain a little traction in New York state, at least in the Hudson River Valley area. It's usually either a show at SLCFTA or a day of workshops and a concert at a church in the area and, this year, it was both. The SLCFTA has never done shows in the summer, but they expressed an interest in having me come do a performance since I'd already be in the area.
It was great seeing CarolLynn and her husband, Gene, plus lots of my Empire State friends who come out whenever I'm traveling through the region. Tonight's show was advertised as an "anything goes" concert where I'd take the mountain dulcimer through some extreme paces while tomorrow's concert would be more traditional, without all the bells and whistles (and stomp boxes.) It was amusing to watch her try and convince two traditional music fans that they would still enjoy my set, even if I was playing rock 'n' roll and the blues.
I rarely make a set-list because I tend to either forget it's down there or forget to look at it. Plus, a set-list keeps you on a pre-planned path, while working in front of an audience means that you need to be flexible and have other routes available in case you've misjudged what they want to hear. This also makes each set very interesting since I don't even know where it may end up. There were lots of funny little medleys and on-the-fly-rewrites going on ("Run On" ended up blending with "Save A Horse Ride A Cowboy" for a brief moment) besides some new material that I felt comfortable breaking out ("Too Strong For This", for the first time with the pedal board band; "Music Of The Night" making its public performance debut.)
During the intermission, I got to talking with Andrea Joy, whom I'd met at the nearby Old Songs Festival in 2011. Andrea, now an ordained reverend, is a huge Disney fan and helped me out with my Disney Songs Sing-Along at Old Songs back in 2014. We'd concocted a plan to tag-team "How Far I'll Go" from Moana, but neither of us knew it well enough to proceed further than the first verse. It was still fun to try!
After a rollicking two hour show, (the traditional music fans chose to stay and, indeed, enjoyed the show - as warped as it was) I drove 30 minutes to the Walmart Resort: Latham, five minutes from tomorrow's workshop and concert location, and prepared to get some rest. The northeast, besieged by near-constant rains, was expecting another wallop of showers this weekend and it would make the drive to Massachusetts interesting, so great sleep was definitely on the menu and I ordered up a big, steaming bowl of it.