SPRING.

Standard

It’s certainly rare for me to write about shows I see. I am not sure why . . . I see dozens of plays, musicals and live music performances every year and often want to reflect on them, but just never get the chance to share my thoughts and feelings about them. I guess I am too busy living LIFE to compose a single word outside my head. (The writer in my head is very prolific however.) That said, I need to at least mention my first weekend getaway since the snow melted. I headed to Thomas, WV intent on photographing the countryside with my new camera.
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(It was my 10th anniversary present. Some girls ask for diamonds . . . lol) But my plan was foiled. The sky was white and everything was soaked in inches of rain. I was staying at the Purple Fiddle where, lucky for me, The Spring Standards were playing that night.
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My weekend– saved entirely by a Heather and two James (assisted by Peter, Noah and Kate, of course). I had seen them play before– 4, 5, maybe 6 times actually.
I reluctantly use the word “fan” in my life, but for these fine folks, anything.
I’m a fan, okay?!
(Generally I love lots of things, but who wants to be fan-atical. That just sounds scary.Of course, what would my noun be? “Lover”? YES. That, too. The Spring Standards. I am totally a “lover”.) You have to know, they had the most intimate, perfect, genius fundraising efforts to produce their first full length CD. I was a little behind the times and missed out on contributing, so I guess I’ll just have to show my support by buying multiple copies of the new CD and passing it round to friends!

So Friday night, March 12, they played “The Purple Fiddle”. It’s a great venue; they’re excellent musicians. It was destined to be good times,
but I have to think there was some serious MAGIC involved.
For me the tone was set by my solo retreat into the mountains. I was relaxed and with the weather what it was, content to just let life happen. I strolled around town as casually and far as I could while lugging a camera and an umbrella in a cold steady rain. But I mean, I was wearing hiking boots and striped legwarmers.
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All was good. 🙂 Through the day I ate two ginormous, healthy and incredibly yumsy meals in the cafe and staying upstairs, I only had to wander down the stairs to see the show. I was eating my dinner when the band rolled in and managed to spend a little time during soundcheck acquainting myself with the camera and lighting.
Eventually the band members and crew stumbled as weary road traveled Clark Kents into their bus
and emerged refreshed in their show digs like the superband that they are! Transformation is groovy.
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I can’t begin to recall a setlist and didn’t record it since I was too busy snapping away in a sea of beer drinkers and other paparrazi. Hopefully all the camera action wasn’t a distraction. They had their own dear Kate and some other out of town fans click-click-clicking. I had my own comedy of errors to be slightly distracted by– a man behind me kicked a beer over and walked away. As it flowed toward the stage it forked with one stream heading toward my backpack and the other into the path of a crawling toddler. I am sad to announce I averted my bag from the flow. Babies are more easily laundered.
But I can beat that. A man sitting in the front row watched ESPN on his netbook through the entire show. I think he is rude and may need an addictions counselor.
I have to say nothing interfered with my enjoyment of the show– patiently taking photos and humming along to the familiar tunes that reminded me of road trips past. All of which is nothing compared to the new music from such a talented group of musicians.

They write beautiful melodies.
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They unabashedly rock out.
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They are charming.
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Their poetry, music and ways of communicating and interacting as musicians tell great stories.
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Stories I wish everyone could hear. Thankfully they attended SXSW in Texas this month. Last week I planned to attend a show in Pittsburgh (because I can’t make the Vienna, VA show tonight), but their mobility was stunted somewhere in Ohio. So long, Lead Sled II.
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So, I guess I will just HAVE to go to the CD Release in NYC next weekend.

I DARE you to go to a Spring Standards and regret it. TRY not to have a good time. If you succeed and can convince me that it wasn’t your own ill mood or genetics that made it so, then I will personally reimburse you.

At the end of the night after all the new songs and vintage TSS and covers and dancing and spilled beer, Heather, Cleare and Smith descended from the stage struggled to speak over the buzzing crowd.
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But when they begin to sing a capella, out of the light, off the mics and in lush hushed harmony, that room full of rowdy good-time Friday night West Virginians fell into complete silence.

‘Twas damn near religious, I’d say.

And I was happy.

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