Guitar-ed and Feathered

          

        My wife plays in a band named “Guitar-ed and Feathered.”  As you might guess, they are mostly about fun, and refuse to take themselves too seriously.  They are early on in their music journey, and still growing as musicians, but do not let youth and inexperience get in the way of having a good time.

        Sometimes I think they have it all right anyway.  I guess it is true if you are hoping to win the National Flatpick Championship or secure a record deal, technical proficiency is an absolute must, but on the circuit they play, mostly for nursing homes and school kids, it is mostly about spreading some good vibes.  The same is true for the small festivals and private party gigs Neuse River plays for that matter.  Even for the professional bands, I suspect there is a lot of mileage to be made out of being nice to people and simply making their day a little better than what it was when you showed up.

        Once the Moose I got drafted by Guitar-ed and Feathered to be the sound men for a day.  It was their first big show- a state teacher convention in Raleigh at a fancy hotel.  The band was opening for David Holt.  They were plum frighted- I felt sorry for them- scared to death I tell you.  I guess they had some validity to the concerns, as they had never played such a venue.  Their last gig had been for a church supper the month before.

        You know though, they never forgot rule number one- make sure everyone has a good time.  By the end of the set, they had those teachers up and dancing.  My everlasting memory of the event is all those ladies doing the “soul-train” in a huge circle around the room.  I remember Moose, a grizzled veteran of the regional bluegrass scene, sitting at the sound board, sipping on a glass of cognac, and calmly twirling his index finger in the air, the signal for the girls to play through “When the Saints Go Marching In” just one more time.  Watching all those teachers singing and dancing, he turned to me and said, “You know, Doc, we’re doing something wrong.  We ain’t never got a response like this.”  Moose was right.  Always know your audience; you are playing for them.  I never forgot the lesson.

        I don’t reckon David Holt was intimidated to follow their act, but I tell you I was proud of ‘em.  They held their own, and were rightfully proud of doing so in such a big gig.

Dr. B

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