Jay & Molly Were in Town!
That's the stage of Hubbard Hall, Cambridge's downtown opera house. It's a small wooden stage with a backdrop painted in the first decade of the 20th century (some say even earlier). It's a curious picture, which I exclaimed "Look, Japamsterdam!" when I first saw it. The combination of a deep lake and tall snowy mountains next to weirdly Amish people near a gristmill was whimsical. It's one of several hand=painted canvas backdrops that roll down from the rafters, but even without seeing the others, I'm pretty sure this ones's my favorite.
The concert was amazing. Fall down the stairs, amazing. The only way I was able to go was because Connie at battenkill Books offered me two free tickets since she couldn't find a sitter in time and didn't want them to go to waste. What a gift that was! I sat front row and center, just ten feet away from the due and their beautiful music. They covered hits of the sixties (the 1860's) and some of their own writing. The night was farm-themed. They played hits like Speed the Plough, Snow Bird in the Ash, and Hoedown. I couldn't stop the smirk from racing across my face.
A fiddle and a Gibson J-45 (I am guessing her's was from the late 1950's) were my entertainment that night. These are my two favorite instruments in the world. The J-45 is the guitar my sheepdog is named after, my holy grail. Far as I am concerned The whole world does not need a bass, or drums, or a single electric sound when it comes to southern mountain music. It just needs these two beautiful sets of strings. I had to use an effort of will to not break down and cry during the Lovers Waltz. I couldn't help it. It brought up so many memories, thoughts, and dusty dreams. If strangers or a song can well that up in you, that is something powerful. I don;t know what to say. Waltzes do me in folks, my heart beats in 3/4 time.
It all ended with Ashokan farewell, played traditionally and then an encore presentation of it all fast and snazzy! A perfect evening in a packed music hall on a cold night. I love this place. You just can't know.