For those of you keeping track, this was my 4th concert and 4th band in a 3-week span. I’m even getting paid for two or three of them! I love being a professional musician.
Erin Lee Kelly and Marci Applebaum made their triumphant return to Hoboken tonight as part of the family concert series at the Shipyard. Last year they got rained out (and their visit to the Art & Music Festival was pretty damp as well) so everyone was thrilled when the rain decided to give ’em a break.
I honestly don’t remember when, exactly, Erin Lee invited me to sit in with them again. It just sort of happened organically—it’s been on my calendar since April. But as the date got closer, Erin Lee and Marci were on tour and I was too busy preparing for recording and other gigs. I started to feel bad that I was neglecting the two of three songs they’d invited me to play. But the beauty of their material is: It’s deceptively simple. Wonderful melodies, rich harmonies, clever lyrics… and underneath it all, a comfy musical pocket for me to sit in with my banjo and mandolin.
Tom Sweeney and Chris The Sound Guy showed up at 5:00 and got set up, while I sat on the stage steps with the band and ran through our three numbers. The two songs I’d done with them last fall came back in a flash, and the third was an easy addition. We ran a sound-check, and with only three voices and three instruments to check we were done before 6:00! So we puttered around, I grabbed dinner, and we watched the lawn slowly fill up with Hoboken’s wee music lovers.
By the time Erin Lee and Marci started at 7:00 there was a sizeable and enthusiastic crowd, throwing around fee beach balls courtesy of NY Waterway Ferry.
Erin Lee and Marci have really honed their act; they keep up a steady stream of banter with the crowd and with each other, between and even during their songs. The Fuzzy Lemons would do well to borrow a page from their book, and indeed we’ve been working on that whole between-song thing at rehearsals. They cracked me up several times (when I wasn’t too busy helping with crowd control. Oh the beach balls!)
It was a treat to jump on stage and play banjo and mandolin with them; my confidence (if not actual skill) with both instruments has skyrocketed since the last time I tried. I even took solos with both instruments!
As always, it was over too quickly. I had to pack up my stuff and jump in a cab to head for Fuzzy Lemons rehearsal! I look forward to the next time I can hang, and jam, with these two awesome performers.
Tomorrow night, The Fuzzy Lemons at Church Square Park!
-- Weather When Posted --
- Temperature: 78°F;
- Humidity: 73%;
- Heat Index: 80°F;
- Wind Chill: 78°F;
- Pressure: 30.01 in.;