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 http://www.luicollins.com/