Saturday, March 13, 2010
Words & Music
My Key Peninsula neighbourhood continues to astound me with the caliber of cultural events just down (or up) the road from our front door. Friday night began a series of monthly house concerts, hosted by Jerry and Pamela Libstaff at their beautiful waterside home in Vaughn. Called "Words & Music," this series is a wonderful idea...putting poetry and a musical performance on the same bill, making for a stimulating, intimate evening among friends. The $15 admission donation helps to support Watermark Writers' Young Writers' Workshops...so important for building young minds and expressive futures!
The kick-off for this series featured stand-up poet, Jack McCarthy and singer-songwriter, Greg Greenway. As with so many local events, Tweed Meyers was set up to document her community in a well-lit corner with easel and her sketching/painting supplies. Chairs were set up in curving rows, with some lovely extra-comfy chairs set to the sides for those of us sitting-challenged. We were so warmly greeted by Pamela at the door, then pointed towards a wonderful spread of nibbles and noshes before staking-out where we would settle for the show. Huge windows which would normally frame the fantastic water view by day, were dark mirrors of the room by night.
Jack McCarthy admitted himself to be a "creature of the open-mikes..." and didn't find his voice until he found his audience. He reminded me a little of Grey Wolf...and Red Skelton, mixed. He moved within his poems, hands pulling him forwards and pushing him back like the tide, and had a gentle, self-deprecating humour. Many of his poems were carved around alcoholism and his own personal struggle...and there wasn't a person in the room who couldn't relate from one aspect or another. One walked into hard places with these poems...an audience member was heard to say, "You sure hit some spots!" He had an electric hold on me and I would've gladly listened to the entire thick binder's worth of works he chose from. You can check Jack out at his website http://www.standupoet.net/
Next came singer-songwriter, Greg Greenway. His voice was wonderful and warm, with a very respectable range. His vibrato made me sometimes think of Lyle Lovett...brought back from the edge and minus the forever sarcastic Texas drawl. Greg's songs were socially-conscious Folk and his guitar-playing was quite delicious. Each song came with a story attached and an easy back and forth with his audience.
All too soon the first "Words & Music" was over. Orion was standing proudly in the western sky as my friends and I walked to the car, talking about the night's content and our community. About ten minutes later I was home and in PJ's...no causeway, bridge or traffic to worry about...woo-hoooo! Thank you to Jerry and Pam for opening their home to the Arts and to our community so graciously. We look forward to more.