Folks, sometimes in this business of playing music, we do crazy things. But often, we do them because they're fun. A good illustration of this occurred last Saturday, when Christopher and I were playing music at the Gamble Rogers music festival near St. Augustine, Florida.
You might think, if you're playing your shows and picking at a festival, that would be enough to do. But on Saturday, we started out with back-to-back afternoon sets-- I was sitting in with the Artful Dodgers, a 35-year reunion Florida band, and then we followed them with our own Red & Chris set. And it was hot! It must have been over 90 inside that tent. But the crowd liked us, so we expended some energy. We forged ahead and played a set of high-energy bluegrass and original material, and the crowd loved it! We sold a bunch of CDs afterwards, always a sign for musicians that the people like you.
Then, after an hour or so spent cooling down and getting a bite to eat in the festival's hospitality room, we had our evening already planned out. Chris had booked an evening house concert in Jacksonville, about an hour minutes away. So we loaded up the band and our instruments into two vehicles, and drove up I-95 to Jax. And what a reception! First there was a lot of good food and visiting with nice people, and then we launched into our set to the best audience reception we'd had in a long time. First we ate up the food, and then the folks ate up the music and stories. We played a 90-minute show to a tumultuous reception, and then sold CDs. LOTS of CDs. CD sales mean a lot to the band, both because of the financial aspect of it (more gas money) and also because of what sales say about how the crowd sincerely likes us. So by about 11:00 p.m. we were tired but happy, having played two shows in two places already.
But the night was not over! Our old friend Mike, who lives in St. Augustine, was holding his retirement party the same night. So we loaded ourselves in our cars and drove back to St. Augustine. And when we got to the party, the people were still picking! We naturally joined in, and picked for a couple more hours until things wound up, about 2:00 a.m. We drove back out to the festival and sacked out, trying to get some rest before playing our Sunday sets. We finally got to sleep about 4:00. What a day! We'd had a great time. The festival-- the house concert-- the party-- that had been what you'd call a full schedule, and I hope it happens again!