Once again, Paul Sprawl created one of the most memorable nights I’ve ever experienced, but I think this time, Evansville did just the same for him. I’ve got to tell this story…
Paul, his performance artist wife, and band of amazing musician friends from Nashville were coming to the cabin in a bus. This is not your VW sort of bus, but something that can only be described as a stubby Greyhound sort of thing. There was no way it would get down the driveway to the cabin. So they drove past, turned the corner, and saw a convenient place to make a 3 point turn. The only problem is that at 5:30 on an Indiana Novemer evening, it’s dark outside, and the creek running alongside the road was not readily apparent until the back wheels of the bus dropped off the edge.
The bus blocked traffic in both directions. Guests will start arriving in two hours and I’ve got spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove. I turned down the heat on the sauce, and drove to the scene of the situation. There was no way my Dodge Dakota was going to pull a bus out of a ditch. It looked like a hopeless and expensive situation, and to top it off, a police cruiser arrived on the scene.
But this Evansville. Things work differently here. The turn-around spot happened to be where my neighbor, Danny Mark, houses a massive dump truck. The police officer just happens to be a fine jazz bassist. By 6:30, the bus was parked at Danny’s place, the gear was unloaded and moved to the cabin, a jazz bassist was joining the band for the evening, and we were sitting down to a great Italian feast. By the time the guests arrived, you would never know that this was a show that nearly didn’t happen. I’m sure that Paul is telling stories about the amazing people in Evansville, Indiana.
Alan is one of those songwriters whom I might never have heard of if it wasn’t for the start of this house concert series. He was one of our first performers, and has since become a local favorite with his honest and wry delivery of some really remarkable songwriting. Alan tells stories that need to be heard. Many others who have recorded his songs agree with that sentiment, including Del McCoury, Tanya Tucker, Ricky Van Shelton, Michael Martin Murphy, George Jones, and The Oak Ridge Boys.
Every time Alan plays here at the cabin, I wonder why we waited so long to have him back. The shows are wonderful, and he’s developed quite a few fans here in Evansville. Alan’s also a painter, and along with his several CD releases, he sometimes sells original hand-painted t-shirts at his shows. They’re very cool, but I need one in my size!!
Pamela and Spencer never fail to remind me that I’ve made some great friends over these several years of hosting house concerts. They share wonderful music as a duo, and afterward we share wonderful conversations that probably keep us up later than we need to be, but never without regrets. With a mix of instruments, and a blend of musical styles from traditional to contemporary, Wild Carrot has something to suit everyone’s taste. They’re based in Cincinnati, so if you check their website, you can see where thy’ll be playing in the area.
If there are people who are bound for success at whatever they put their heart and mind to, then Jen Kass is driving their bus. She writes and performs truly remarkable songs, was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for solving the Rubik’s Cube while she was still a pre-teen, and before reaching the age of 30 had already begun and retired from a career as a defense attorney. I only mention these things because it’s just a small indication of how she measures “a worthwhile song” by her own standards. If you have a chance, please go see Jen Cass for yourself!
John and Michelle Law are an absolutely wonderful couple of people who love life, love good food, and love each other. We had talked for years about bringing this Canadian duo to the cabin, and finally had the opportunity. I’m sure glad we did! John’s an awesome guitarist who was playing in a band at a party when Michelle spotted him and started to write the love story that would take them on a musical adventure that is still being written.