Monday, December 3, 2012

Jay & Molly Were in Town!

After Saturday's workshop I was able to see a live performance of Jay Unger and Molly Mason right here in Cambridge. Hubbard Hall, our little opera house, is part of my closest town's busy arts calendar. Plays, performances, lessons, workshops, and speakers come to it often. I don't know many towns that offer Irish step dancing and cello classes the same week as yoga and meditation sessions - in a place where no one blinks an eye when a train or horse cart passes by. Washington County, I am telling you, is a magical place.

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.


Blogger Unknown said...

The video of Lover's Waltz brought tears to my closed eyes. Thank you for sharing. Just discovered Elizabeth LaPrell -- more wonderful mountain music, mournful and pure.

A devoted blog reader in the islands of Washington state.

December 3, 2012 at 11:19 AM  
Blogger Jackie said...

Thanks for sharing that video with us. It was amazing! I can only imagine what the actual concert was like. You open our mind to such great music, books and ideas. Thanks for all you do!

December 3, 2012 at 12:27 PM  
Blogger Kate said...


I also just heard Elizabeth LaPrell and love her!

December 3, 2012 at 6:48 PM  
Blogger Morning Glory said...

Jenna thank you for the privilege of sharing the video. Beautiful music and I have already downloaded to my iPod!

December 3, 2012 at 7:20 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Listened to the music and all I can say is "swoon"!

December 3, 2012 at 8:53 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

Ooo, I got chills listening to that clip. I'm happy for you, that you got to have such a superlative evening. Nobody appreciated it more than you, it's safe to say.

December 3, 2012 at 9:00 PM  
Blogger Molly Piper said...

Jenna you are fall down the stairs wonderful, delightful and amazing.

December 3, 2012 at 9:42 PM  
Blogger shrlckhlms said...

That song is amazing. It must have been an amazing concert.

December 4, 2012 at 1:52 PM  

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