Monday, October 25, 2010

House Concert

I woke up on the morning of the backyard house concert and looked out onto a cold, gray, windy and rainy day. Nancy and I had started planning this event six weeks prior, back when mid-October seemed like a safe bet for blue skies in San Mateo. A few days earlier Jerry and I had packed our car full of guitars, amps, speakers, etcetera, and drove up from the heat of SoCal. Today was the day, there was no Plan B.

I was still staring out the window of the San Francisco high-rise where Jerry and I were staying when Nancy called. We shared a pathetic laugh. She had already put the chairs out in her yard and pulled them back in, wet with rain. I figured only a handful of folks would be crazy enough to show up for an outdoor concert with the rain coming down, the roads slick, the Giants in the playoffs and the Raiders playing at Candlestick. "Leave the chairs in," I said, "we're on our way." We picked up my dear friend Jo and arrived with our gear and some goodies for the would-be feast.

Jerry overconfidently tried setting up the P.A. system in the yard before retreating with it to the patio. We would have to seat everyone indoors, if anyone showed up! Big Bad Mike arrived and defiantly parked his barbecue grill beneath a dark cloud. Then one by one they came through the front door on Lake Street. Familiar faces of fans and friends and many newcomers to the cast. I was so humbled that they all came out to hear Jerry and I perform under these conditions. Nancy's house was soon overflowing with about 80 of our unflappable crew.

With everyone finally seated Nancy introduced us. We opened our set with "On A San Francisco High," and then performed a few songs from my latest CD. As if on cue, the sun appeared as we launched into "What A Difference A Day Made." Applause for that! A few people slipped behind us taking their chairs into the back yard.
The rain let up and some folks slipped behind us.
KCSM DJ Pete Fallico
Pete Fallico, a DJ from KCSM, did us the honor of introducing the song "Sanssouci" in his deep, rich and resonant radio voice. It was all going so well when suddenly the power went out on the whole block. Still, the mood was good and no one panicked. We had stared down Zeus... what was Thor going to do? The queue at Big Bad Mike's grill grew long, and by the time everyone was fed the power was back on.

We began the second set with "Night And Day" and a J. Holland original, "I Was No Angel Myself." Then we played an old song that is one of my new favorites, "Just For A Thrill," composed by Louis Armstrong's wife Lillian. I noticed several people tearing up during "Les Feuilles Mortes." When it was time to wrap things up I had the wonderful feeling that everyone would have been happy if we kept going and going.  

With my friend Marlene Sorosky Gray
As we said our goodbyes a few volunteers stayed behind to help Jerry pack the car and Nancy put her home back together. I took the opportunity to sample some of the delicious leftover chocolate cake and cookies which guests had contributed. The guests had also generously filled our tip jar with enough cash for Jerry and I to breath a little easier this month. We are so thankful. A house concert is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon or evening... simply good music, food and fellowship without the overpriced drinks. I hope you'll join us for the next one, rain or shine!

Time to eat and chat between sets.
A "big" fan:-) Naz and Mike!
The Sacramento Connection

Yellow flowers from a mysterious gentleman!

P.S. To set up a concert in your house, please email me at Thanks!
Photos: Terry Dudley

1 comment:

  1. Ah, what a fantastic concert that was. The rain and power outage didn't even matter at all. Everyone was having such a great time we didn't even give it a thought. It was the perfect day. And, what a treat to meet the man behind the voice in person - Pete Fallico. I cannot wait for the next one. Thank you Sone and Jerry and Nancy for a wonderful time.