“It was either a stroke of genius, or a terrible mistake to decide to go on a mini-vacation in Vermont the weekend before my album release concert.” That is what I told everyone before I left. Now it is the last morning here, and I know now that it was a very good decision.
We arrived on Thursday night, going straight to The Marina in Brattleboro, VT, which had an open mic from 7pm – 10pm. Kevin has been hosting this open mic, not always in the same venue, for 25 years. That is pretty extraordinary and wildly successful!
It is the sort of open mic where musicians call ahead and pick a time slot, and I got the last time slot at 9:40pm, and arrived just 40 minutes before that, having driven 8 hours from home. The crowd was very warm and welcoming, and I noticed they sang along to songs they knew, and listened attentively when someone played an original song.
I played Chasing Happy, and some were swaying along, seeming to really enjoy it. Then I played Somebody Come for Me Now, and there were two women, not sitting together, mouthing the words to the chorus, as if they knew it. If you are a song-writer, you know that having people sing your music back to you is THE most affirming thing that can happen. Especially when you know for a fact that they’ve never heard you before, and you don’t know them either!
The very day the boxes of CDs showed up at my house, I watched an episode of Celebrity Undercover Boss featuring Darius Rucker. At one point in the show, Darius meets Damiyr, a busker (street performer) in Austin, TX who is absolutely amazing. While undercover, he asks Damiyr “what are your dreams”. Damiyr replies that he no longer has dreams, and that his purpose in life is to connect with people, and he does that as a busker on the streets of Austin, TX every day. WOW! That hit my heart. That IS what it is for me as well. I want to connect with people, and have them know they are not alone.
In the weeks leading up to the album release concert taking place on Sunday, October 8th at 3pm at St. Paul’s in Lansdowne, I have had wonderful words of encouragement from the few people that have gotten an early sneak preview of the album, and that has been a true gift. I am so fortunate to have people that are close to me that have supported me all along the way, and I am grateful for it. I will remember this time of love and support for a long time. It is a gift that is now wrapped in the landscape of beautiful Brattleboro, VT, where a complete stranger sang along with me, and for a moment, we competently connected, and she was not alone, and either was I.