On May 10, a beautiful day with no threat of snow, we had our best turnout yet at the Meeting House Stage. Our feature performer Nate Smith, along with a full slate of open mike musicians, gave us a great evening of live entertainment.
First up was Ray Sierkierski from right here in Rindge. Ray lives so close to the Meeting House that he can walk over if he chooses. He did a great job on a pair of covers, Jimmy Buffett’s He Went to Paris and Adele’s Someone Like You, and then he treated us to an original song, Presence of An Angel, that he wrote along with his wife Kate.
After that Ken Durand came up and played three of his own songs, It Takes Sunshine and Rain, Stronger Now Every Day, and A Wild Ocean. John Roper and Deb Northway followed Ken with a beautiful version of Bare Necessities, the Nanci Griffith song Gulf Coast Highway, and We Are Only Passing Through, which was penned by Mark Erelli and Catie Curtis. John Papp opened with Mississippi John Hurt’s Ain’t No Tellin’, and followed that with an original called It Ain’t What it Ain’t and a John Henry tune, The Man Who Loved Old Songs.
Nate Smith, May’s feature, played a set of all originals. He started off playing his small banjo on a tune called Dranial Activity, and then switched over to his guitar and treated us to a number of his very good songs: The Purgatory Express, Russianic Mail Order Bride, Tomorrow Could be Our Day, and A Little Bit More. I particularly enjoyed Tomorrow Could be Our Day.
Mac Cole was up next, and his set included The Rhyme of the Chivalrous Shark and I Just Don’t Look Good Naked Anymore. Mac hosts the Folk ‘N’ A Open Mike in Worcester, and it was a treat to have him travel up to Rindge and share some songs with us. After Mac, Jack Kid came on and played a pair of original instrumentals, Night Owl’s Lament and Oriental Journey, both with his own unique style of tapping. He finished off with a wonderful tune of his I hadn’t previously heard, Sunday Black Sunday (The Worst Hard Time). This was Jack’s first time at the Meeting House Stage, and I’ve scheduled him to be the feature in January 2014.
Fred Fowler took the stage next. Another first timer at the Meeting House, Fred treated us to some beautiful renditions of some great classic country tunes: Gonna Find me a Bluebird, by Eddie Arnold; Let’s Turn Back the Years, by Hank Williams; and Never No Hard Times, by Jimmie Rogers. After Fred, Rick Beausoleil treated us with the Riche Havens song, By the Grace of His Son, and then he played an original, Tide Rushes Out. For his last song, the George Jones song Grand Tour, Fred Fowler joined Rick on stage and accompanied him with some very nice fiddle playing.
The evening’s final performer was Bob Goodwin, who will be our feature performer in December. Bob opened with the Townes Van Zandt song Tecumseh Valley, and then played a parody of the Garden Song that had the frustrated gardeners in the audience laughing out loud. He wrapped up the evening with The Drunken Scotsman, a tune as bawdy as it is funny.
As always, the food was truly awesome, and in great abundance. Thanks to all of the volunteers that made such fabulous treats: Elisa Benincaso, Karla MacLeod, Ken Raymond, Sally Poikonen, Amy Raymond, and John Papp.
Next month’s Meeting House Stage will be held on Friday, June 14, and our feature act will be bluegrass banjo and guitar player Jerry Wile, who currently plays in two bluegrass bands and is a music teacher at the Minor Chord in Littleton, Massachusetts. For more information, check out our calendar.