Sunday, January 21, 2007

Side by Side in our Family Room

Never did I think when we remodeled our house a few years ago that we would be hearing live music in our family room. But it actually happened last night and it was quite an experience.

At last year’s World Folk Music Association concert we bid on a silent auction item featuring a “home” appearance of Side by Side – the duo of Doris Justis and Sean McGhee, never thinking we would win. We were surprised when Dick Cerri announced David Diskin to be the winner at the end of the marathon concert.

We finally got around to picking a date and inviting people. David’s theory was that only about half the people you invite actually come, so he invited A LOT OF PEOPLE. Well, they almost all said yes, so we had over 40 people for dinner and a house concert last night.

Dinner turned out not to be a big deal. We split up the alphabet and assigned salad, dessert, or beverage, depending on your last name. We made the (very easy) award-winning brisket, adding lots of carrots this time. Let me tell you, 20 pounds of brisket is a lot of brisket! Place settings and cutlery were Costco’s finest plastic. And best of all, we hired Angelina, the woman who cleans our house, to help.

The biggest challenge was how to fit 40+ people seated in our family room and still leave room for the musicians. After dinner, we had a quick makeover of the family room to move out a couch and the coffee table and set up numerous folding chairs.

At around 8:00 Doris and Sean started strumming and singing and the sound was fabulous. The songs ranged from Red Rubber Ball (The Circle 1966) to Runaway (Run-run-run-run-runaway) to Somewhere Over the Rainbow to songs they had written. People were clapping and humming and singing along and mostly just remembering where they had first heard each song.
At the end of the first set we took a break and had dessert and coffee (in styrofoam cups, which I said I would never use but I did). Then someone blinked the lights and we went back for the second set, which proved even better than the first.

In addition to the wonderful music, what made last night so special was the fact that we cared deeply for all the people who showed up – neighbors, work colleagues, Micah members, book club friends, even our PT Quentin and his friend.

My husband wondered this morning if the rest of our guests and the entertainers felt as amorous as we did after that evening of music. This is a house concert that might just become an annual event. Read another review.


Blogger Mother of Invention said...

That is such a cool idea! I would have loved that. My brother-in-law, who is the musician who played guitar on my song,does this a fair bit too.
We don't have a big enough house at all to do it.
Glad you pulled it off so successfully.

11:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It sounds like a fabulous experience. Dinner with friends. Music. Being crowded, full and entertained on a cold winter's night. Lovely.

12:48 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

MOI -- We don't have a huge house. When you move the furniture out, it seems a lot bigger. You should have a house concert with you as the featured artist!

Kristin -- Lovely is a good word to describe last night. We've received a couple of calls and e-mails confirming that our guests felt the same way.

12:57 PM  
Anonymous David said...

great post - nice to get the feminine perspective. especially enjoyed the last paragraph.

2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How cool is that! Wish I'd been there. I am now humming Red Rubber Ball :)

8:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like a delightful evening. Aeons ago we did a folk music evening at someone's home. The intimacy of being in someone's home perfectly aligns itself to folk music, which I don't thnk to play often enough. Have to dust off those CDs!

10:52 AM  
Blogger steve said...

Ya'll had a Wang-Dang_Doodle without me! 40folks is a pretty good crowd and once you get them all out the door, the lovin' starts... thats great!!!
"If music be the food of love"...

1:37 PM  

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