The season closer, which I attended with Paul, Paul’s boon companion Mike J, Keith and Mike, was a barnburnin’, kickass, upsidethehead HOWL of an evening. Three professional musicians on tour (two of them being the Undesirables, a very amazing Canadian duo who TRANSFIXED the audience and the other being David Ross MacDonald, an Aussie who blinked at us when we wouldn’t sing the chorus of his rubato version of Waltzing Matilda because he wasn’t singing) joined the open stage, and the Galley stayed open long enough to serve beer at the break, may it be blessed among restaurants, and apart from it being ass freezing cold it was a splendid evening. Banjo! Mandola! Social Justice songs! a song by Stompin’ Tom Connors about the Iron Workers’ Memorial Bridge collapse! Ashokan Farewell played during the jam session by four fiddles (one of whom played with polish and precision by a ten year old boy), one bodhran, one pennywhistle, two guitars and two mandolins! No fewer than two Bob Dylan songs (nobody plays Dylan at Jericho, it’s odd)!
When Fraser Union, the ‘headliner’, finally made it to the stage, one of them remarked that the headliners had already come and gone. But you don’t go to Jericho thinking you’ll never be upstaged; on any given evening the quality of the musicianship is enough to give you severe pause.
Thanks to Mike J for giving me the musical term rubato and explaining it (he’s a second tenor with Chor Leoni and knows his shizz); thanks to Mike for the lift home; thanks to Paul for lining up for beers for us and loaning me the entrance money because as usual I forgot to get cash.
Bright blessings for the gift of being in that room, where sixty voices, in three and four part harmony, lifted the beams and raised the dust. I didn’t want to perform that night, and I’m glad I didn’t try!