Starting right off, I dont have any real pictures yet. Folks took them, and I am awaiting them. So this will just be a blog of words.
I was excited about this year's event as we had some great things planned and a spectacular line-up. My friends at 91.3 The Summit really got on board this year and did so much to help out! Plus, this year was a little crazy, since I wasnt actually going to be there from the start. We played the Browns home opener pre-game and then jetted down to Akron.
As things tend to, everything worked out very well.
All the food was quite yummy. We got the most compliments about the wonderful Vegan Tomato Bisque Soup from Primos Deli and the Chocolate Truffles Troy made. And as laways the cookies poet TM Gottl made were delicious. I had far too many of those... The Vegan Stuffed Shells were so good, they were gone before I even got there at 1:45pm! And though the Chiptole didnt arrive until about then, they went pretty fast as well. This year Angie and Keith decided to make juice - a carrot/giner/apple juice. And it was perfect! I'll be the first to admit that seeing carrot juice in there, i was skeptical. But it was sooo tastey. Indeed! And the pizzas from Totally Cooked were perfect as well!
Also new this year: as I walked up there was sidewalk chalk wrapping around the block about the event! Very nice!
We ended up with over 200 people in attendance and have rasied to date close to $5,500 for this years event, taking our 4 year grand total to over $25,500!
I heard Faces Made for Radio was better than ever this year! All i gotta say is: mmmm, banjo.
David Ullman played a wonderful set - and we got to debut our duet re-worked version of our song "Happiest Sad Song." I really enjoyed that. I like where the song has gone. This one really was like a child. It started out and progressed and developed a personality and went off to college then busked thru Europe for a few years, and is now a really interesting piece of music. :)
One of my favourite bits each year is the little duet section I do with Cory. We don't get to sing together that often anymore. So this is always nice. This year's version of "Communication" was perhaps the best we've ever done it. It is my National Anthem i think. That or "Delusions." And Cory of course nailed "One." It even made David Ullman's heart skip a beat!
I am glad Eclyptic was able to be on the bill this year. My dad and I knew them when they were still early in high school and just getting started. They are good kids and have an interesting sound that has grown and changed over the years. They have wonderful harmony and were enjoyed by everyone.
The Woovs were even better than expected! I'd been hearing great things about them for a couple years now. They have a nice groove-oriented kinda mellow vibe and really were absolutely perfect! It seemed to me they gained many new fans.
TM Gottl invited me up to do Chiroprator, a crowd-favourite duet. Next time we'll get the band involved, but there wasn't time to set everyone up. I have a feeling that song will just be getting outta control funkay in the near future.
Rachel Roberts is a good friend and a joy to have on any bill. She definitely didn't dissappoint. Her beautiful voice was right on, even though she was getting over some mild brochitis. And i felt a little honored to have her play my guitar for her set.
I was really pleased with our set. The band was tight. As tight as it's been i think. And we really were able to shine! "Some Love" was a personal highlight for me. We've been working on some things with that tune, and I feel I'm able to finally let everything out with it. We're entering a transitional phase of the music i think. We've all hit that 2 year mark where we are comfortable with how each other plays and where they go, that we can move in a collective direction. And i like the shores we are sailing to.
Each year my favorite part of the raffles are those few times when the person who really wanted an item wins it. We had a few this year. For the GPS Paula and Troy shouted out loudly from their seats before the name was drawn "pick Troy and Paula. Troy and Paula!" And then they were picked! And the guitar went to a lady who was extatic that she won it!
The real highlight though was the finale. We brought back Gary (from Faces), David, Rachel, Cory, and TM and went through the most inspired version of "People Get Ready" i have ever heard/played/imagined. Yes, it clocked in at nearly 17 minutes long, but wow. Everyone came in close and swayed. Everyone was tired and sweaty from the heat and the dancing and the whole day, yet everyone was ready and willing to be lifted, and to lift. And we did. We went somewhere. Together. 150 people or more - all as one.
People get ready. Theres a train coming. You dont need no bagage you just get on board. All you need is faith to hear the diesels humming. You dont need no tickets you just thank the Lord.
Everyone singing. The band building and pulsing. Cory's soul drenching out. Church was there, but this wasnt church. This was bigger. This was real. Handclaps on 2 and 4. David improving. Rachels sweet voice. Charlie's guitar like God's humming.
And we brought it down. "I believe. I believe." Everyone eyes open, eyes closed. Swaying. Standing. Dancing. Moving. Singing. Really singing. Im not sure i've ever had a crowd sing along with such soul and meaning. We were simply singing. We were believing. We were proclaiming.
I dont wanna reason anymore about the one i love. The one i love. i dont wanna reason anymore about God above. God above. I just wanna melt away into that sacred space. Drift away into that sacred place where there's no more you and me no more they and we. Just unity.
Even if it only lasted those 17 minutes. Even if it faded away with the sound and drifted into the shadows of Musica and out into the Akron night. It was there. It was real.