Sep 172009

I saw two folky acts over the past few days. First was Andrew McKnight playing drive-by music at Great Country Farms in bluemont VA. My wife’s family and Icaught about an hour of his stuff. A few passers-by seemed to listen, but I think that we were the only ones to stick for more than fifteen minutes. Andrew was putting on his whole performance with enthusiastic stories and emotional vocals even though he was playing for just a handful. Dude’s got integrity to do that.

We also saw Side By Side, which is a folky duo that mostly covers John Denver and the like. They played for several hours for a full room at the Reston-Herndon Folk Club. The music was nice, including some good harmony singing and some flashy guitar picking at times. I couldn’t get into the show as much as others because there were lots of jokes, bickering, and references for the insiders. Maybe most of the audience were insiders so that was just bad luck on my part. I was one of the youngest people in the room, so maybe I am just missing some of the seventies folk info.

Quite the comparison. I felt a little on the outside in a full room, not getting references to certain names and places. But I felt like I was getting full value from the dude just playing with his guitar and amp all alone out at the farm with parents chasing little kids around and not much of a focused audience. Something to think about next time I am up there playing in front of people, or playing in front of nobody.

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