May 312009

Yesterday I played a lunch-time gig at Lake Anne Plaza in Reston VA. Last Saturday our string band played fiddle tunes there, and yesterday I played solo.

Lake Anne has a farmers market and crafters market every Saturday. There are also some restaurants with outdoor seating on the plaza, and lots to keep folks hanging around. They hire musicians to play during the lunch rush to keep things hopping.

I hadn’t played a long solo gig like this for quite some time. I had to scrape up some old cover material that I hadn’t performed for many years. It was fun going through old lyrics and fixing notes while practicing. I tend to cover sixties and seventies material, usually on the more upbeat or sensitive side. Van Morrison, Gordon Lightfoot, Dylan, etc. I also do a lot of older traditional, bluegrass, blues, and folk stuff. And some of my originals of course.

The gig was my first try with a new busking setup. The rig is a Vox DA5 amp, a Shure SM58 mike (what else?), my Guild 12-string dreadnaught, and a Fishman Aura 12-string pedal. The amp is only 5 watts, but it was enough sound. I needed something to fill out the sound so folks could hear me over the fountain and squealing kiddies nearby. Folks seemed to like the sound and could hear me just fine.

I had a nice little bunch of friends who stopped by to listen. I wasn’t sure if passers-by were listening much or digging the music, but a full tip jar told me afterward that people were listening. I stumbled over some lyrics, had a cough here and there, but overall the tunes came out pretty good. I had a lot of fun, so hopefully the Lake Anne folks will have me back again soon.

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