Our band did a school outreach yesterday afternoon at St. John’s Lutheran School. The entire school was in attendence, a couple hundred K-8th graders. The littler kids were totally into it, clapping to almost every song, though not at all in time (it sounded like heavy rain pounding on a roof), but the eighth graders in the back row were more aloof, watching politely but completely undemonstrative.
It’s a completely different experience playing for children than for adults. I like to study the kids and pick out who looks the most like me at that age. She’d definitely be obeying all the rules, sitting politely, paying attention, long brown hair, headband or ponytail, braces.
We had to adjust our material some, on account of all the singing about alcohol, suicide, and sex that we usually do. J We did “Bound to Ride,” and Buddy introduced it with a long spiel about crackers (the food, not the people). The next song was Robin singing “Nine Pound Hammer.” As he was singing the verse that goes, “It’s a long way to Harlan, it’s a long way to Hazard, just to get a little brew…” he suddenly realized he was singing about moonshine and improvised on the fly: “It’s a long way to Harlan, it’s a long way to Hazard, just to get a pile of crackers…” The band cracked up, of course, and the school’s staff was none the wiser. The kids didn’t care.
Our show tonight had a pretty good crowd, but they were a little too polite. We like the ones who will hoot and holler. Oh. Wait. I can hear them now. They’re hooting and hollering for Uncle Earl. It was just us. Okay then. Never mind….
Anyway. Uncle Earl does one of Kristin Andreassen’s songs, “Crayola Doesn’t Make A Color For Your Eyes.” I’m not sure if I’ve really written anything about it until now, but it is a totally awesome song. It won some kind of songwriting award, but it’s completely charming and the last line of the chorus is “Crayola doesn’t make a color to draw my love.” Their arrangement includes a hand clap/slap pattycake thing all the way through. They sing and clap simultaneously and I didn’t fully appreciate how hard that is until last night.
The G’Earls wanted to get all the women on the tour involved and on stage at the same time, so Rachel and Sierra learned a verse to sing while they clapped, and Brandi and I were hand jive partners. To keep the pattern going through the entire song takes a balance of concentration and not-thinking-about-it that I have not achieved yet. Maybe by tonight, or tomorrow.
We just have two more shows left. Two! Long drive today—six hours—and a show tonight in Hamilton, Ohio. We need to make sure to get a group picture before we all go our separate ways.