Saturday, November 30th, 2002 Mad Agnes

There is something about a music trio that really fills a cabin… we had a house-full for this show, in attendance and in the day that followed. There was always someone to talk to and something to talk about while they were here. It seems that everyone had some common ground with everyone else in one way or another. I got a brief lesson from Mark on alternate tunings, including a demonstration of some really cool Michael Hedges stuff. Oh, and we got the scoop on their name. Margo and Adrienne were two-thirds of an all-girl tio called “Mad Woman in the Attic” and when they reformed with Mark as the third member, they wanted to keep a relationship with the old name and so they decided to name the woman in the attic Agnes. Anyway, that’s how I heard it.

The running joke during the next day’s departure was whether or not Tim was still going to have just as many instruments when they left. I assured them that I had no concerns, since they were also packed with so many guitars and such, that they would have to leave something behind if they were to try to add to the pile. I especially liked that custom guitar made of cherry that Adrienne was toting. It sounded sweet as it looked!

Their website has temporarily gone south, but you can listen to some of their tunes and learn more about Mad Agnes at

Saturday, October 12th, 2002 Lui Collins

It continues to amaze me how every performer and every performance is different, and a pleasure to experience. Lui’s easy and relaxed manner draws you into a comfort zone so quickly that time seems to take a breather. Often, performers will encourage audience participation after they’ve established a rapport with the audience. Lui needs a little under five minutes to establish that rapport. She starts with a song to warm up the strings on her Taylor, then switches to a borrowed guitar (thanks, Beth) for a sing-along. Then she picks up a banjo. The good kind–soulful, sonorous, old-time mountain music. A pattern is established that will last most of the night.

Suddenly we’re in the middle of something different–it’s a poem, about trust, about belief, about jumping into the unknown abyss, making a leap of faith, being seduced by words, and surviving the result. Wow. More music, this one a little different, then another sing-along. Slowly, people realize that they’ve heard this voice somewhere before, a part of a radio show, a children’s song, perhaps performed by another person, but with that same gorgeous voice.

Finally the night ends, and though we didn’t notice, time did continue to pass. Everyone else is gone except friends, Randy and Beth myself, and Lui. Lui asks Randy to pull out a guitar, and she takes her turn listening while we play for her, and share some Randy and Beth’s songs. We’re all tired, but we manage to cap the night with music shared. It’s another memory to keep.

You can read more about Lui Collins on her website at

Saturday, September 14th, 2002 Small Potatoes

Tears of joy, tears of laughter, tears of love. These two performers, with just a handful of songs were able to draw from their best to draw us into their world and their hearts. I looked around the room and realized that everyone else was caught up in the magic, just like me. I realize that this is why we host these house concerts, so that we can share the magic with our friends. When you take a perfomance that deserves to be on a stage that faces at least a few thousand seats, and put it into a 16’x 16′ room, there is nothing to keep that magic from touching you.

I’ll let you in on a secret. Jacquie and I have histories that intersect. We were both “rennies”, people who worked at Rennaissance faires. We were able to connect at least a couple people we knew in common, and had we tried, I am sure that there are dozens more. And Rich, geez, I’m in awe of his guitar playing. That guy can make a tin can sound like it was made by the master.

If you didn’t get a chance to buy their CDs, they do sell them through the website. It’s going to be hard to top this show, but I’ve come to realize that every show is different, every one great in its own way–just like people.

Read more about Rich and Jacquie on their website at

August 17th, 2002 Teddy Goldstein

It’s 3:00pm the day of the show and the telephone rings. “Hi, this is Teddy Goldstein, and I have some bad news…” Teddy had lost the clutch on his car just this side of Louisville, KY. Being a “take charge in a crisis” sort of guy, I asked him where he was and determined that if I left right then, I could get to wherever his car was being towed to, and get back to Evansville in time to do a show. It was a lot easier driving to Louisville than calling a couple dozen people and telling them that the show was cancelled–besides, he was going to need the money for that new clutch.

Teddy’s show is hard to describe. Songs that could sound pathetic from another person took on dark and fatefully humorous twists in his hands. Besides being a exceptional guitarist, he blew a harp better than anyone I have ever heard while pulling a tight rhythm out of the guitar. At the beginning of the night, I was a little worried that people wouldn’t know how to take a wit honed on the Manhattan pavement, but by the end of the night, everyone’s face hurt from smiling so much.

So, it worked out pretty well. I had a gig Sunday evening near Louisville, and we were able to drop Teddy off at the Pep Boys where his Subaru was patiently waiting for replacements. Teddy made his gig, we made ours, and though the weekend seemed much too short, it was a terrific time.

You can buy cds and learn more about Teddy Goldstein on his website at

Friday, July 19th, 2002 Alan Rhody

Alan Rhody is a consummate Nashville songwriter–I mean, he’s recorded songs that are recorded by famous people and even made into hits. He’s had multiple famous people record the same song–how cool is that? I must admit that I had all sorts of odd impressions about how a big time Nashville songwriter might be a little too sophisticated to want to hang out in our little cabin on the edge of Evansville.

Well, I was more than pleasantly surprised to discover a warm and kind man who enjoyed shooting the breeze for hours over coffee about recording and publishing music. And, like Rod Macdonald, he’s been in the business for decades, and has some wonderful stories about being in the business–which requires a double dose of humor and irony. Alan not only brought CDs for sale, but he also brought along hand-painted shirts that he creates.

You can read all about Alan Rhody at