I would like to start out with an apology to my daughter, Hannah. I SWEAR I thought it was Fiday and you were an hour late for school!
Okay, now that I have that out of the way, the weather for the SATURDAY Delandapalooza Event was outstanding! Nice and cool in the a.m. and it warmed up nicely for the p.m. show. Parking at 2:45 was a breeze and we were within sight distance and a short walk of my first stage. The first two acts did not show up and the sound guy at Steves Downtown Music was glad to see me. After checking out his set-up, we went over to the main gate and checked in and got our wrist bands and tee-shirts. I HAD to get a shirt! My name is on them. After that we went for my gear and got ready for the show. The sound guy, Born, was very professional and had a great rig. He was a real pleasure to work with, as was the sound guy at my second set at The Nest, Josh Childers. I didn't realize how lucky that was until I went around to some of the other stages and listened to them!
I had a nice crowd for most of my set. As is normal at events like this, there is a constant movement of people coming and going and this is true for the small stages as well as the main stages. It is always nice when people stay to hear most of a set, but there is so much going on, you have to learn to expect that they will leave after a song or two, unless there's food or booze to keep them longer. I was very fortunate to have some friends and family there who were actually there to see ME. Thanks to all you who support me in this little journey. Thanks to Dennis Gay and My loving Aunt Clara for coming out. Thanks to Wayne Matthews and Jackie, Bruce V., Marilynn, and Drew and Alex, two of my FB friends who I shook hands with for the first time, thanks to Danny for the 'drive-by' with the pizza pie, thanks to all those who adopted kazoos and helped me with a few of my tunes and donated to the fund, you are all hired, thanks to Travis for doing a great job as head kazoo wrangler and for the help on percussion, a special thanks to Bob O'Shea and Doug Braun for the cinematography and my daughter Hannah and wife Karen for the great stills. Also, thanks to all those anonymous people who stopped and listened and laughed on cue, who played kazoo or looked on bewildered as others played and if any of you were FB friends, holler at me next time. I LOVE to shake hands with people I know only from cyberspace.
I recieved a lot of great feedback from the crowd and also from the band that followed me, as well as Born of Born and the Fine Line, the sound guy. It's always nice to hear something positive like that from somebody who is in a completely different genre.
And that was just the FIRST set!
Between sets I was able to hit some of the other shows. What an incredible array of talent we had at that event! If you make it to one of the SSA events, take a word of advice, get a schedule ahead of time and make a 'bucket list' of acts you REALLY want to see. I had several on mine and was able to see most of them. I caught Jason and Danny of Lucky Dreamer Marquis at Mainstreet Grill and enjoyed that alot. Madwillie and Ox were out back at the Elusive Grape and had a nice crowd. I got a chance to see the awesome Mike Dorn at Dublin and even got a chance to shake his hand at Madwillie and Ox's later performance at Elusive Grape inside stage. The light show by Perigo at the stage behind Issues was amazing. If you ever get the chance, take in one of his shows! He is a true performance artist. Dustin Seymour with my bud Joe Koons was amazing. It's not hard to see why he is opening for some top acts in the Orlando area now and is well on his way to being one! The Sauce Boss was entertaining, but, I wonder if he might let an old cracker cook show him how to make gumbo sometime. It goes really well with hoe cakes. Russ White with the Da vinci Jazz Experiment was AWESOME! Loved that Count Basie tune! All-in-all I had a great time watching and listening at every stage.
Kudo's to SSA's Phil Weidner and crew for putting on an event of this magnitude. It ain't easy! If you think it is, you should walk a mile in his shoes.
My second set was at 7:40 at The Nest on Artisan Alley. It's a cozy little place with some really nice people. Josh We Know was the stage host and he is a joy to work with. Always helpful and cheerful. He even adopted a kazoo and helped with a couple of tunes! Josh had mentioned there had been folks there asking about me earlier, so I was racking my brain trying to think if I owed anybody money or had any outstanding warrants out for my arrest. In the end, he pointed out who it was just after my set, as they were leaving, and I didn't even get a good look at who it was. So if your reading this, say HEY! Unless I owe you money, of course...;) I can't see as good as I used to so you might have to smack me.
The crowd was nice and mellow and the atmosphere was very laid back and I really enjoyed myself. My equipment gave me a few minor problems, which Josh was eager to help remedy the problem, and I made several mistakes, but nobody threw anything and all seemed to have a good time. I saw a lot of friendly faces looking in through the open window and smiling and enjoying.
Thanks to those who came to both sets, you know who you are. Friends like you make it worthwhile.
Finally, I would like to thank all my friends and especially my family for putting up with me! I would be a sad, bitter, lonely old man without you all!
Now, on to the next show!