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Sculptor's Guild

Posted by PaulKirby on Saturday, August 30, 2008

We played a gig last night for the sculptors guild of Norway at a beautiful old house in the East side of Oslo.  We have been using a small Yamaha PA and one Shure SM55 for the vocals, bass through an amp and rhythm guitar through the PA. They had their own PA so I just brought microphones. This was a mistake.  We were playing outside and most of the time I was playing without any amplification on the banjo. The whole thing we've been rehearsing for 2 weeks has been not to overplay, to really make an ensemble sound, and of course that was the first thing to go out the window last night.

In 25 years of singing opera, I'd forgotten what it's like playing for drunks. When I was about 18 I played a bar in Springfield Illinois, where people would go into the alley for target practice with their concealed weapons. The day  we auditioned there, in the middle of our first mini-set, suddenly the place was flooded with cops. They yanked a guy out of their that had just stabbed somebody in a drugstore robbery.

Nobody threw anything last night, but at the front table there was a guy just absolutely staggering drunk playing drums on a wooden table with two shotglasses.  He was so out of time that at one point I couldn't tell whether he was playing along or trying to start an uprising against the band, kind of like the guys in the old prison movies who rake the bars of their cells with their metal cups.  We chose not to react. It just added one more feature to the evening's hard work. He played on just about every tune we played.  At least he was enthusiastic.

And still people love this music! It's unbelievable. There is such a thirst for bluegrass here in Norway. I thought we played really sloppy last night, but we played two encores, and people were up jumping around on almost all of the fast numbers.

4 comments on “Sculptor's Guild”

Kester Says:
Saturday, August 30, 2008 @5:52:40 AM

That sounded like a helluva good night!  Scoundrels and great music! 

I have always wanted to visit Norway.  If I do get there, I have to come and see one of your shows!

PaulKirby Says:
Saturday, August 30, 2008 @6:02:13 AM

Gosh yes. Come visit!

Jane C Says:
Saturday, August 30, 2008 @11:35:41 AM

Obviously they had got into the spirit, in more ways than one : )

frailin Says:
Saturday, August 30, 2008 @11:44:15 AM

I know what those nights feel like. 

I say a prayer before each performance... "let me reach at least one person with Your message."  So I know on the tougher nights, there's at least one soul that got something out of it.


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