I kicked off the month by attending a house concert last Friday. House concerts are a terrific way to see music. A house concert is, well, a concert in a house. All of the money goes directly to the musician. Everyone is there to listen, so you don't have to worry about bar chatter, smoke cappuccino machine or smoke. This series is run by Cary Alan Fields, who hosts a bluegrass radio show. Everyone brings a snack to share --I brought two cases of beer and Bad Influence Girl brought hummus and pita bread. Who's the bad influence, really? The woman who opens her house to all of us always makes soup. Any good concert needs soup.
My friend, Otis Gibbs was the performer this month. Otis told stories between songs, and he has some good stories - being mistaken for a homeless man in Germany, meeting folks at a hobo camp in the West, eating nothing but boiled peanuts for 14 days earlier this year during a Southern tour and standing on the Charles Bridge in Prague on Valentine's Day one year.
His music is even more amazing than his tales. Karlov Most, the song written about the Charles Bridge is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard. He also played a good dose of his music from his Christmas album, Once I Dreamed of Christmas. Classics such as Lloyd the Reindeer, Crap for Christmas and Carl and Mavis. The songs are a fun look at the holidays. He also wrote some beautiful Christmas songs, Color Wheel about his grandmother's tree and Little Red Nose a sweet song about his girl.
Otis is starting a European tour this week, I'll miss getting my annual Christmas photograph with him. I have six Polaroid snapshots lined above the bulletin board in my office. Its a good measure of hair styles and weight gain (mine, not Otis')
It was a great way to kick off the holiday season.
See the video below to hear Otis singing Karlov Most. The sound quailty is not great.