Day 74: Interstate Tour 2018
Interstate 90 East out of New York and into Masachusetts is a lovely stretch of road with rolling, verdant scenery and big ol’ ascensions, the kind of thing that my first motorhome, Rita, had some trouble climbing.
This kind of thing is no big deal for Imua, who eats mountains for breakfast, just like today. We arrived at Rick’s Music World in Raynham around noon and I was surprised to see the store signs proclaiming that they were open - they’re normally closed on Sunday.
In addition to buying the Bose L1 Compact PA system, I decided to also get the Bose S1 Pro, an even more portable system that I could use for smaller and less complex shows. As it turns out, today was Tax-Free Day in MA, and Rick gave me a discount, so - awesome - talk about a hook up!
Tom Irving, organizer of the New England Dulcimaniacs group, had reached out to me in 2016 about visiting their group last year. It was such a successful and encouraging day that we immediately planned on doing it again. Tom is a wonderful spirit with great enthusiasm for the mountain dulcimer and its followers - the NED group wasn’t in existence on my first visit, but I predicted that the day would come, and soon, where they would begin hosting other performers and making a name for themselves.
That only took a year. I love it when a plan comes together!
I taught two workshops; “Ashokan Farewell: A Study In Song” and “Mountain Dulcimer Delta Blues”, which is a pretty wide swing from one end of the spectrum to the other, ya think?
Going from the very specific and restrained approach necessary to play the sparsely arranged tune featured in Ken Burns epic series “The Civil Wars” to the all-out, wild and off the charts approach used in blues music, it was a pretty decent workout for everyone and there were a lot of satisfied smiles during the dinner break.
I played for about 90 minutes; another very freewheeling show that even included a snippet of “Sweet Transvestite” from The Rocky Horror Picture Show; they were up for anything and Monkey Mind delivered on all accounts (I resisted the RHPS thing at first, but dressed it up as a story example and didn’t play the whole thing. I swear - who’s running this show anyway?)
The rain forecast for the week had arrived in full force, coming down non-stop all day and creating a rushing river in the middle of the parking lot as everyone said their goodbyes, gear was packed up and another evening had drawn to a close. Not a fan of driving either in the nighttime OR the rain, but nonetheless wanting to be in Chicopee by midnight so that I could drive over to Agawam in the morning.
What’s in Agawam, you might ask?
That, you’ll find out tomorrow, if you don’t already know. Five days until my next gig - time to do something that I’ve never done before!