For someone who hasn’t really been on the road much lately, it seems that life is moving at an incredible speed, and is filled with memorable adventures. I know that I’m kind of vamping, but I leave on a road trip in a couple of weeks, when things start to get back to a more normal pace for me. At least I keep thinking it will be a more normal pace, but then again, I’m a little confused about what that is supposed to be anymore.
So suddenly, music, which is such a big part of my life is surging forward…I adore the blues and a couple of weeks ago, John Mayall came to The Avalon Theater (www.avalontheater.com) in Easton for a memorable evening. He was playing with a bassist named Greg Rzab who was sort of playing along in the back there until his solo – where he totally blew me away by basically using the guitar as a jump rope…or at least it appeared that way. Normally it would be a theatrical distraction for me, but it was…well, a powerful bonus to the evening with a legend.
I’ve gotten back into writing lyrics and some music, so the evening was just that much more meaningful for me – you tend to see concerts differently when you are trying to figure out just why everything works as well as it does in the hands of a real pro. It creates a new kind of appreciation for the craft and for those who practice music making for a living.
That evening – oh, and I ate at a wonderful place in Easton called The Peacock…very, very nice meal so beautifully served that it made me feel that I should be going to the symphony…great juxtaposition, really – was followed by the kind of bucolic days that make living on the Shore a kind of artist’s dream – more
improbable skies and a February when I often left the house without a coat…only to go back in and get one “in case.” There was no instance of actual “in case,” still it just felt odd to be going out that way.
Back to Easton a week later for an exhibit of Mark Rothko paintings from the National Gallery. The Easton Academy of Art is bringing in some pretty impressive shows, and what was most interesting about this particular show is that it included work that has not been seen before in a progression that showed to some degree how Rothko arrived finally at his iconic color block paintings that in most minds define his work. I happened to be there the day that the museum curator was leading a guided tour of the show, and she was wonderfully informative about the show, and the choice of the works on display.
And of course it is always about the food – and pulled pork sandwiches, mac and cheese and collard greens at the BBQ Joint was just what the doctor ordered for that rainy, totally perfect day.
Actually, that day did not end with Rothko or barbecue. In Chestertown, it was open mic night at the Garfield Center for the Arts at the Prince Theater. (www.princetheatre.org) I had been in the newly renovated space the previous weekend for a Mardi Gras party that was phenomenal, so I had seen the space in advance of going in to listen to the small number of local musicians and the lone poet perform mostly for themselves. There was really much too small a crowd, in a way – there is some very real talent lurking around the edges of the county – although one man came from St. Michaels in Talbot County to perform his songs about the Chesapeake. It seems that there was a guitarist who drove some distance to come, but mostly the talent was local, and the evening was totally enjoyable.