Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Fabulous Singer/SongWriter Pat Wictor -
Sunday June 22, 2008 1pm
Park Near Columbia Md
Free Concert, Pot-Luck Picnic
RSVP PLEASE 443-803-8546

Pat Wictor walks on stage and sits down. He places a Guild DV-52 flat across his lap and begins playing slide guitar. The sounds are snaky and sizzling..." (Richard Cuccaro, Acoustic Live). Steeped in American "roots" music, Pat is a contemporary singer-songwriter and interpreter drawing on the rural country, gospel and blues traditions of our nation. An American raised in Venezuela, Holland, Norway and England until his teenage years, Pat has an unusually deep awareness of being a resident of a country while also a world citizen. His performances, part fireside chat, part meditation on matters earthly and transcendent, feature his original tunes, as well as a newly discovered lyrics from other performers, or fresh arrangements of traditional songs; he delights in introducing his audience to innovative material. With flowing red hair and zen-like calm, Pat embraces his audience with the sincerity of his music and the clarity of his voice, inviting them in.

Location: Rockburn Branch Park Pavilion, Howard County, MD Map here.
Rockburn Branch Park Dr, Elkridge, MD 21075 LINK TO GOOGLE MAPS HERE.

Time: 1 to ?? PM. Music 2 to 4pm.

Food: We will provide meat (burgers, franks) and fixings. Please bring dishes to share (including some vegetarian choices). We will also provide a variety of soft drinks.
NOTE: No glass bottles!

Occasion: David White is turning 70. We welcome all who love music. Hear a great concert and help us celebrate David's joining the ranks of the septuagenarians. Relatives and friends are coming and we have room for many more in a large outdoor pavilion - we just ask that you rsvp leaving your name and phone - 410-992-0632 or cell 443-803-8546.

From US-29, Center Park Drive or Snowden River Parkway, take MD 100 east to Exit 4 (MD 103/Meadowridge Road). Go part way around two traffic circles, follow MD103 0.2 mile west and turn right at the first traffic light (Montgomery Rd), go another 0.2 miles and turn left at the next traffic light (still Montgomery Road). Drive 0.6 mile, past Rockburn Township on the left and turn left toward Rockburn Branch Park, just before the big sign for Rockburn Elementary School. Follow the winding road 0.6 mile into Rockburn Park, past tennis courts on the left and past the left turn into the tennis court parking area. Take the next left to the pavilion. We plan to put balloons at this turn and the previous turn (by the school). From I-95, BW Parkway, US-1 and points east, take MD 100 west to exit 4 (MD 103) and follow above directions, except you won't have to mess with either roundabout.

A song circle following the concert is possible if the audience includes musicians with guitars...


Thursday, November 08, 2007
Off To NERFA Nov 07
The Northeast Regional Folk Alliance (NERFA) starts tonight, but we arrive tomorrow. Looking forward it!
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Bruce Cockburn at the Birchmere, Oct 18, 2005

Standing in line can makes folks feel helpless and dehumanized. But at the Birchmere lines have been the party before the party. Doors open at 5 to pick up tickets and get line numbers for seats. But when I arrive at 3:30 I am not the first in line. The Birchmere has the wall in front of the door thoughtfully lined with benches. We are in the shade and quite comfortable on this sunny, moderately warm October day.

I enjoy talking to the other fans in line. The woman is front has already seen the Ramshead set list from the Humans-list on Yahoo groups. I remark that I heard Brian McLaren (author of Generous Orthodoxy and many other books) is coming. (I am not surprised he plans to come since he has written about being a huge Bruce Cockburn fan). The man who is first in line says: Did you say Brian McLaren is coming? He is a friend of a friend of mine. Who is your friend I ask. He replies, Jim Wallis (of Sojourners, another famous author and speaker, who we all saw often on TV last year, commenting on religion and politics surrounding the election and how neither party "gets it right"). I don't know about Jim Wallis but some years ago I heard from a friend who was a Sojourners intern that the Sojourners staff she knew loved Bruce Cockburn.

A folk concert buddy Mike arrives who tell us he was at the Ramshead last night. Another woman comes and the usual conversation – how many Bruce Cockburn concerts have you gone to, do you have a favorite concert, favorite CD? Have you seen the set list from last night? Everyone I talk to loves the encores from last night, Pacing the Cage and Wondering Where the Lions are. Will he do them tonight? We find out soon.


Set List with Comments... (* instrumentals)

*Rouler Sa Bosse – " To Knock About the World" - Bruce asks the audience, "Did I get the clarinet part or did I".

Going to the Country -

Me: I am melting from the sunshine in his voice. He sounds so much better live.

Bruce says: "You can't get much earlier than this"

Introducing the next set of songs Bruce states: They are the first of what I discovered were many road songs. I did a concert for the Canadian auto workers. Anticipating a drinking and partying group not concerned with the subtleties of what I did, I tried to think of songs involving automobiles.

Reading "On the Road" in high school I was captivated by the notion of perpetual motion. It is an apt metaphor for the spiritual road we are all on… (and a reference to the downsides of the heady approach of the beat generation) – After a while the road changed (my personal road changed) ….that didn't change my perception of it. I'll do a couple of songs that are road related…This is from a few years later.

Silver Wheels

Mighty Trucks of Midnight

Guy in the audience yells out: Bruce did you enjoy our beautiful day in DC today? Did you get out on a bike ride? Bruce replies that he did get out on a bike ride, but says he is tired of so many beautiful days. "I like it (when it is) dark angry pissing rain when I get to wear my other clothes."

Bruce tells us he has another album out called "Speechless". A good title for instrumental pieces. Fans have been asking for it over the years. There are 3 new pieces. "I'm not big on nostalgia. It (nostalgia) goes with those sunny days and shit".

*King Kong Goes to Tallahassee

Wondering Where the Lions Are – Bruce encourages us to ramp up audience echo of the refrain "wondering where the lions are" saying "don't lose it now" and at the end saying "nicely done".

Let the Bad Air Out – "I had a fantasy. Sometimes I'll try it..When I am singing those silly high notes all the women could go: Open Up the Windows and all the men could go: Let the Bad Air Out." Immediately the audience urges him to try it out now but Bruce presses on.

If a Tree Falls -

Me - When Bruce said Flood Plains for an instant my bones froze. I agree with the reviewer of last night's Ramshead concert – so passionate and timely.

The Sierra Club woman sitting across from me whispers "I could die now".

My neighbor whispers to me, this is like being at a Springsteen concert with the audience yelling BRUUUUCE. Yeah I had noticed this at least 2 songs earlier but it has been getting louder after each song. This crowd is really rocking.

Bruce - Picking up a shiny black guitar Bruce says "we are suckers for those shiny things…I confess I was". An audience member yells out (about the guitar) "it is like All the Diamonds in the World".


Wait No More


Bruce - "Thanks for not leaving"

*Water into Wine

All the Ways I Want You

Put It in Your Heart
- Bruce emphasizes this is about Osama bin Laden, not about a relationship

Baghdad – Intro: "Last year I had the occasion to go to Baghdad for a while to see if anything we heard here was even remotely true. I've been in a war zone before but never been in a city that is occupied…basically people live the best they can as anyone lives the best they can…I got a ride in on a UN plane to Baghdad airport. (The original airport must have been destroyed). There is a sign that says Baghdad International Airport) but only 6 airplanes and they are all military planes except ours. Coming in the plane is nose-down to avoid gunfire – but you got a great view of the city that way.

A Kurd was sitting beside me. He was telling me about the Kurdish political party (he is in). He was going back after finishing breaking up with his wife in Belgium. He asked me: Have you ever been divorced? and When does the pain stop? I said it takes time.

He is going into the fray much more than I and he's thinking about his divorce. Life is the same. But there is more to worry about if you have to worry about kids getting blown up or kidnapped. This is a song that came out of that trip.

Tell this Universe Intro: This is a collective effort that came out of a band sound check (on the last tour). Fellow band members are co-writers - Julie Wolf, Ben Riley and Steve Lucas.

Afterwards someone yells: Are these songs going to be on a best ever of our current administration's album? Bruce says "You've got to ask them…we haven't been approached about it yet."

Another person changes the subject and yells: Love that guitar strap. No comment from Bruce. The strap reminds me of the 60's or 70's – it is very thick – The background is bright blue and it is covered with a few very large 8 pointed. very irregular stars- that have a black outline. Inside the black outline is a yellow border and then green fill. Bruce dresses very similarly at his next concert, and wears the same guitar strap. See the photo section of the Humans-list: file name: "bruce-so.." for the "bruce-Somerville 102005" pictures.

More Bruuuuce from the audience…

Last Night of the World - Intro: Last night someone in Annapolis was asking for this song. I didn't do it (then), so if you are here tonight (here it is), and if not maybe next time..

*End of All Rivers – Intro. This is another song from the new album. It was an encore on the Band tour. Some of you may have heard it. It sounds a little different now that it is just me.

Me: I feel like I am sitting in church and wonder how the song evokes this feeling.

Messenger Wind

Me: Now is forever echoes - Ground. Trust and hope. The courage to be born.


If I Had A Rocket Launcher

Me - I am watching a young man sitting nearby.(I ask his age afterwards and find he is a high school junior). I've been wondering if he will connect with Bruce's music. Now I see to my dismay that his eyes are wide and fixed, his head motionless intensely listening. Suddenly I am so sad he is hearing this song…I don't know this boy. Well he is a young man, not a boy… But I think he is too young to hear this…to young to be at risk of being involved in an ugly war… He is not my child, and not a child at all, yet something in me cries out children should not hear this song… I am so so sad this song is so timely today. I wish Bruce had played Call it Democracy instead.

All The Diamonds – Intro: I heard this title called out a few times, and I haven't played this in a while.. bear with me.

Me - In a time warp I hear my friend Diane whispering to me. She is a newbie I brought to this concert. She whispers in surprise, he is talking about Christ. We are sitting Senator in Baltimore on March 9, 2000. And this song is the last song in the encore. We walk out into a the crisp night so blessed…


Anything Anytime Anywhere

Bruce: "God bless you all…Thanks again"


After the concert my line mates, folks I sat with, and others give glowing reviews. "This show was great. It was so much better than last night. Last night was the first night of the tour and he was just warming up." And "I'd give this a 9.7 out of 10". My comment: 10 out of 10. I am thrilled!

We heard a song from 1969 and six from the 70's, and some from each decade since. I am in awe at the dance between the songs about justice and the violent and inhumane world we live in (If a Tree Falls, Put it in Your Heart, Bagdad, Tell the Universe, Rocket Launcher) and the songs of just the pure joy of living and loving (Going to the Country, All the Ways I Want You, After the Rain, All the Diamonds, Anything Anytime Anywhere). The dance includes the themes of the urgency of finding the joy, the ecstasy in life (Wait no More) and of finding the human spirit and hope in the midst of a scary and changing world (Mighty Trucks of Midnight and Wondering Where the Lions Are). At the break, a woman at my table says said something like this, but much more eloquently. I can't recall all her words, but I can't forget her thoughts about finding the balance, how Bruce holds the tension between these themes so beautifully.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Bruce Cockburn at the Birchmere 10-18-05
10-18-05 - Bruce Cockburn Birchmere (Arlington Va) Set List

(* indicates an instrumental song)

*Rouler Sa Bosse ("To Knock About The World")
Going to the Country
Silver Wheels
Mighty Trucks of Midnight
*King Kong Goes to Tallahassee
Wondering Where The Lions Are
Let the Bad Air Out
If A Tree Falls
Wait No More


*Water into Wine
All the Ways I Want You
Put It in Your Heart
This is Baghdad
After the Rain
Last Night of the World
*End of All Rivers
Messenger Wind

First Encore
If I Had A Rocket Launcher
All the Diamonds

Second Encore
Anything Anytime Anywhere

Thanks to a friend Mike who helped me guess the names of two of the instrumentals - Rouler Sa Bosse, and Water into Wine. I really listen for the words and cannot remember the names of instrumentals - if people have better information please post it.

A question for those who were at the Birchmere - was there a song between All the Ways I Want You and Put it in Your Heart? If so was it a new one? I am not sure of my own notes at this point.

FYI Mike was at the Ramshead show the night before also and said the Birchmere show was so much better. Monday night was the first official night of the tour and apparently was just a warm up for our stellar show at the Birchmere. Another fan on the way out gave this Birchmere show a 9.7 on a scale of 10. I personally would rate it higher.

The folks at my table also loved the show. They were a group of Cedar Ridge Community folks including the noted author of Generous Orthodoxy and many other books, Brian McLaren. I knew of course from his writings that Brian McLaren is a very enthusiastic Bruce Cockburn fan, so I wasn't surprised that he came. He said he wanted to bring David Wilcox, a musician friend of his (and mine), but David is performing in New Hampshire the next day and couldn't make it. I was surprised that I didn't see more local musicians that I know at this concert since I've seen many at Bruce Cockburn concerts before, but some of them may have been at the Ramshead the night before.

I do have much more to say about this show but I wanted to get what I know of the set list posted now. I am also to eager to hear comments from others at this show on the Bruce Cockburn fan list, the Humans Yahoo Group.

I will write more as I can - hopefully in a few days.

Finally (for now) I emailed Mountain Stage asking about the Bruce Cockburn Mountain Stage event scheduled for Sunday October 16. A staffer from emailed me the following: "Bruce Cockburn was on the Mountain Stage show in Charleston last night. The show was recorded for broadcast, and will be uplinked on November 25. If your public radio station does not carry the show, you can listen to it through our website Thanks for contacting us."
Sunday, August 14, 2005
Erik Balkey and the Malvinas at the Panzer House Concert, 8-13-05

Since doors open at the Panzers at 6:30pm for the 7 pm. show, we walk in at 6:30 to reserve good seats. Erik Balkey greets us with "I thought I'd see you guys here". I forget to tell Erik how much I love his Songwriter's Tour Guide, like a super songwriter blog.

We meet friends who are going to Kerrville's September concert. Oh they'll get to see Erik Balkey there.

The Kerrville site says Erik was a 2005 Kerrville New Folk Winner. Steve probably mentions this when he introduces Erik but I must not be paying attention. Of course this is only the most recent of many awards Erik's won.

Erik's soft opening hushes the last minute drink clatter in the kitchen as he begins with: Someone to Call (before I go to bed)

Erik assures us (and Mom) that he write fictional songs. Unlike the character in Someone to Call he does not have a 3 year old child. But he implies that the next song about lost love may have some truth

Like Billy the Kid
- the love thief

Then he takes us to an even darker side of town, with a new song about learning those things you couldn't learn anywhere else, At the: Carnival of the Church of the Sacred Heart - where there is gambling, all kinds of mischief and romance.

"I Love…The Place that I Call Home, I love my country …but don't send my brother into war…God bless my country, mercy on me" - yes, Erik, Mercy…

God's Poet Now - Erik dedicates this song to the subject of the song, Dave Carter, a mystical magical poet singer who rose meteorically in the folk world and then tragically died of a heart attack at age 49 in 2002, and also to the incredibly beautiful and lyrical Rachel Bissex who died of breast cancer 2-20-05. Erik mentioned the Rachel Bissex Tribute CD (which some of us in the audience already have) and which is available here.

Steve and Sherry give a copy of the Rachel Bissex Tribute CD to the 2 audience members whose birthdays are closest to the date of this concert. There is a tie and both win!

I saw last saw Erik July 8th at the West Side Café where he played the whole show. He has so many more great songs to sing; this opening set are just a few to whet my taste for more. Luckily he is going to be sole performer at the Dawson's House concert in Silver Spring Md on 11-5-05. I must email Gene soon at: dawsonconcerts at - to make a reservation.

Next up are the Panzer's feature act, The Malvinas. Steve Key has already blogged about how great they were at the show at Shella's last Thursday night.- a show I missed. See his 8-11-05 posting here.

But I already know from last night in Takoma Park that I adore Gina Forsythe's mean New Orleans fiddle. What blows me away this evening is the combination of Gina's fiddle, Beth Cahill's mandolin and Lisa Markley's guitar. I don't care if Beth says the mandolin doesn't stay in tune and that Lisa's banjo got left behind on this tour (though it is even harder to tune.) This is some rousing musical trio. With an attitude. As they say "angst rocks".

Ordinary Blues - "I'm average but I got cool shoes"

My Name is (Mud) … " I am in love"

They sing of the goddess and Catholic saints. St. Anthony of the Lost and Found - this songs transports!

Then they explain that Eve was framed in Eve Takes the Fall.

More love angst in "He Never Loved Me"

"If this is the Worst that Can Happen" - about another couple breaking up

Perihelic Opposition of Mars - about closeness and distance and longing, inspired by reflection on the proximity of planets

Sweet and Sunny South
- home of the Dukes of Hazard and other characters

My partner murmurs, that guitar has only 4 strings. A few minutes later they explain. The guitar is a 1965 Gibson tenor guitar and it is only supposed to have 4 strings, it is not missing strings. It is the kind used by the Kingston Trio , and it is tuned in fifths (like the fiddle)

Sister Mary Lou - "good-by heart"

Waltz of the Rear View Mirro
r - listening to this I feel hypnotized - I love Beth's sparkling eyes.

"I crossed the ocean once or twice"

Eastward Bound - gorgeous gorgeous lyrics inspired by the fall of the space shuttle over Texas… how is it that I feel beauty, sharp painful beauty in their glorious deaths - "you can wrap me in wind and fire and still I'm not coming down'

What's Wrong with Trying - another life affirming "holding on tight" song

And more talk this night about their inspiration Malvina Reynolds. I find tonight she also wrote "God bless the Grass". The lyrics on the web show this song is about grass growing through concrete, and include the analogy between grass and truth - "God bless the truth That fights towards the sun". And Malvina inspires us all as we age since she started playing the guitar at 60.

The Malvinas play a short set at the West Side Café in Frederick on Sunday night, 8-14-05. Alexandria, Takoma Park, Columbia and Frederick - 4 nights in a row in this area!

I regret I won't make it to Frederick on Sunday. I only caught 2 shows this time; next time can I make it 3?

And why didn't the Malvinas mention Lisa Markley and the Malvinas are featured in Subaru's Drive Magazine. I get this magazine! Great article!
Gina Forsyth and Emma's Revolution at Takoma Park House Concert, 8-12-05

The Malvinas, who are they? My partner asks. Have we ever heard them?

No but they are coming to the Panzers House Concert, and we always love folks who play there. Plus Erik Balkey who we adore is opening. So we make a reservation to go Saturday night, August 13.

However I get an email that Emma's Revolution will be at a Takoma Park house concert on Friday night 8-12-05, with Gina Forsyth (one of the Malvinas). I go alone because my partner is just a tad too conservative. I however adore the duo Emma's Revolution, Pat Humphries and Sandy O. I wear their purple PEACE tee shirt that has short sleeves even though I know a sleeveless shirt may be cooler this REALLY hot August evening.

I enter a half hour early. I am the first guest in the Takoma Park home. The host greets me casually. These folks apparently have house concerts but they just don't know about the "house concert rules", the sacred traditions from Columbia, Rockville and some other area house concerts. They don't have a "doors open" time. If the concert starts at 8 then it starts at 8. Reservation lists? Neighbors wander in around 8 and the more the merrier. I bring candy to contribute but bringing food isn't big here - the hosts provide healthy stuff like hummus and also great home made brownies.

I see there are chairs on the periphery of the large rooms. Will they set up rows in the middle? I see I am asking another puzzling question. No, not rows of chairs. There are thick mats on the floor like those used in gym for tumbling when I was in school. These are unfolded and the kids and many limber adults sit on the floor. The host's painting are on most of the walls. Except for the wall in the middle hallway which is lined with incredible photos of many generations of family. The furniture is boxy shaped heavy dark wood. Beautiful house with great vibes.

I see the Focus Alexandria venue manager and his wife from Alexandria. They saw the Malvinas last night at Stella's (one of Steve Key's venues); I suspect though that they are here because I know they are ardent Emma's Revolution fans. However, I haven't heard the Malvinas yet.

The large adjoining rooms fill up, I think mostly with Takoma Park neigbhors, and the concert begins. When I don't know the title of a song I write down the opening line(s).

Gina Forsyth starts with an angst ridden love song, "I Crossed the Ocean once or twice…missing you" - backed up by Emma's Revolution (ER)

Gina tells us she's from LA (Lower Alabama) and now lives in New Orleans and sings "Sweet and Sunny South"

"You are Here"


She always wanted towrite a Cajun song, but when she wrote one it was about Texas - "I'm standing on a hilltop neath a Texas sky"

Then Emma's Revolution takes center stage. This is their home town audience and the love in the room for them is palpable.

Bound For Freedom is a rousing start!

Sandy O's, If They Could Count (who counts, can we count?)

Then written post 9/11 for the many undocumented World Trade Center workers killed who may not have been recorded in the names of victims, If I Give Your Name

Swimming to the Other Side (this room knows these words and sings along enthusiastically) - Read about this amazing song by clicking here.

Asked are you just preaching to the choir, will your words change anything, ER wrote the rousing song to energize the choir, Has Anybody Seen the Choir

At the break, I do meet some other folks who are not from Takoma Park - 2 women from Annapolis. And another Focus Music buddy is here (one who also will be at the Panzer's the next night.)

After the break, Gina and EM will trade songs.

The Malvinas (yes the whole group is here) sing Ordinary Blues.

And Gina sing something she calls her "cowboy muppet existential song"

ER sing a song for the Refugee and Immigrant Worker's Network and we sing along on the chorus " Women in search of safety, women of hope and courage,.. so I am a refugee"

On another note, Gina shared her Mardi Gras song and then the plaintive, "There is a land so far away…no more sad goodbyes".

I heard some of my favorites ER songs, in a room filled with their folk, and heard one of their favorite singers, Gina Forsyth and her group the Malvinas.

The Malvina's mention their inspiration, Malvina Reynolds, a feisty songwriter born in 1900 who wrote "Little Boxes". Why don't I know Malvina Reynolds name. Where have I been!

I am so grateful for the great folks in Takoma Park, for the hosts and their love of music, for some of my favorite songs from Emma's Revolution (but never enough of theirs), for great energy from Gina and the Malvinas. I also leave a bit warm (how do you cool a house with 50 or more folks in it in August in DC?). Sweet harmonies echoing in my mind. I tell my partner the Malvinas are great fun and play the coolest instruments. You are going to love tomorrow night.
Monday, June 21, 2004
It's an Eliot Bronson, Cletus Kennelly, Lori Kelley and Rachel Bissex Sunday in the Park
Concert in the Rockland Park, Elkridge, Howard County, Maryland on Sunday, June 27


Folkfan is celebrating with some very favorite performers on Sunday June 27, 2004. Formal concert is 2 to 4 - but noon is not too early and some folks may stay after the formal concerts end in case informal songcircles occur.

Hopefully there will be a good showing of fans of these superb performers. The location is a large pavilion in Rockburn Branch Park in Elkridge Md near Columbia Md.

From US29 - Take (exit 22) MD Rte 100 east approx 4.1 miles to exit 4
(MD 103); take MD 103 west - go part way around two traffic circles, and
continue on MD 103 west approx .7 mile to the 1st traffic light (Old
Montgomery Road) and turn right; turn left at the next traffic light
(approx .2 mile), onto Montgomery Rd; go approx .6 mile, past Rockburn
Township on the left, and turn left into Rockburn Branch Park (this turn
is just before Rockburn Elementary School; the street sign to the right
reads Rockburn Woods Way - if you pass the elementary school on your
left, you have missed the turn - we will place a purple balloon at this
turn); follow the winding road into Rockburn Branch Park approx .6 mile,
past parking for a picnic area, tennis and basketball courts on the left
and take the next left (no street sign here - we will have another
purple balloon here) to the pavilion, just a short distance. It is the
only pavilion in this part of the park.

From I-95 (exit 43)
MD Rte 100 west to exit 4, go part way around only one traffic
circle, and continue on MD 103 west approx .6 mile Turn right on Old Montgomery Road and
Turn left to stay on Montgomery Rd; go approx .6 mile, past Rockburn
Township on the left, and turn left into Rockburn Branch Park (this turn
is just before Rockburn Elementary School; the street sign to the right
reads Rockburn Woods Way - if you pass the elementary school on your left, you have missed the turn - we will place a purple balloon at this turn); follow the winding road into Rockburn Branch Park approx .6 mile,
past parking for a picnic area, tennis and basketball courts on the left
and take the next left (no street sign here - we will have another
purple balloon here) to the pavilion, just a short distance. It is the
only pavilion in this part of the park.

The park address to use in getting like Mapquest directions is 6145 Montgomery Road Elkridge Md, the South entrance to the park address, but you still need directions to the pavillion in the park (there is only one pavillion, but there are several sports fields areas. The pavillion is the red dot on the park map on
See also general location of Rockburn park in area map on
You can bring food (to share if you want). There will be food and drinks there too. NOTE: The park prohibits glass containers.

RSVP - bossfan44 theemail"at"sign yahoo theemail"dot"sign com
Sunday, February 29, 2004
Lori Kelley and Cletus Kennelly at Janet's Java in Alexandria VA 2-21-04

Lori Kelley got "famous" in Key West singing at Captain's Tony's. I think, as I look around at Janet's Java, Lori must feel right at home here. The pictures above the coffee machine are island scenes with parrots and big island flowers.

The stage area is in front of a gigantic circle of a golden yellow soft sculpture sun. The diameter is more than twice Lori's height - so maybe 18 feet in diameter. Sofas face the stage area, but we choose one of the small glass tables behind the sofas.

Lori begins with That First Kiss. And tells us "we are doing our songs in 2's, like we eat our M&M's" (2 at a time). So next Lori sings Supermanic - about a time on the Ophray show when Dr. Phil counseled a couple whose problem was a controlling woman who made lists for her "supermanic" husband; how could he keep up with all the to-dos and rules on her lists. This tragic tale is so funny in this song.

Cletus - Gun Shy Girl - this is about the period after you break up when you are not ready to date yet. And Leavings - Cletus's friends were moving out of town, but the song sounded whiny. A poet friend advised consulting the dictionary meaning of "leave". The reframing helps turn whining to appreciation.

Domino - Lori's take on trying not to fall in love - but what happens when you tip the first domino? Then It Was A Great Day - This song won Lori one of her two WAMMIES (Washington Area equivalent of the Gammies) this year. (Her other WAMMIE is for best songwriter). YEAH Lori. She tells us she started writing this song for a CD with her sister. The trio she and her sister were in broke up some years ago, but the song is a WINNER!

Christopher (Columbus As A Child) - Cletus sings about the "new bully bossing around the neighbor". This is such a moving metaphor! Then Don't Give it A Thought - advise to girls in this culture.

In Like Sea Glass, Lori compares sea glass to a relationship (which is polished by the sands of life). A serious song, but next is the sexy and cute, A Bite out of You.

In No Roses, Cletus sings about a woman who wants to shout "get out...come back...get out...".
Faces is Cletus's song about getting the big perspective on life. In the end won't it be our people, not the little irritations in life, that matter?

In Eowyn's Song, Lori gives words to Eowyn, the Lord of the Rings warrior princess who longs to ride with the men. "I ride to find my own meaning" (hear this song via an mp3 download at - followed by , The Blue Bird of Happiness -

In Jessie Knows, Cletus sing about people crossing the border who dream of the Statue of Liberty. Then a duet, The Gate, that Cletus wrote for himself and Lori, the story of a man blinded in like the Civil Ware who tells his love to find someone else and move on in life, and her reply

World Spinning - Lori sings this song about how it feels when the whole world is spinning on one finger, "slow it down".

Celestial Dance Cletus says this song is about being 3/4ths of the way to the serenity prayer.

Travelin Fear - "I see no reason to stay in a place I don't want to be". Cletus says the song has been criticized as shallow, but I think Cletus is just writing about people who think this way.

Snow is Falling - Lori Kelley sings about S. Army PFC Lori Piestewa, who was killed in action in Operation Iraqi Freedom - the Indian people wait for her spirit to come home (hear this song via an mp3 download at

Stand Still the World is Trying to Revolve Around You - Lori wrote this song about her daughter at 13.

Boy - Cletus sings about getting a kick in the butt to make decisions to move more quickly.

The Power of Us, Lori's strong relationship song.

Looking Up; Three Days in September - written within days after 9-11-01. My husband and I heard this song sung on 9-15-01 and it just captures so well how we felt at that time, it is still the song out of that tragedy that means the most to us.

Four Windows, Lori's traveling sing-a-long song.

Carnival Ride depicts a relationship Cletus may not want to repeat.

Downpour - Lori wanted to write a song about the men most important to her (her spouse of 15 years, or Cletus or Eliot Bronson). It turned out to be mostly inspired by Eliot. (So Eliot have you written a song about Lori?) - "healing waters.... can you cleanse this heart that been wounded to core...I guess we'll need a downpour.."

Walter Mitty Song by Cletus

More Than Enough - Lori - about growing up and learning to want more for yourself - the good stuff maybe the younger more immature you wouldn't ask for.

Let it Rain - "wash off the masks" - Cletus sings about being real in family relationships

Famous in Centreville - Everyone in Key West knew Lori Kelley sang regularly in Captain Tony's. Lori's husband job brought them back to Northern Virginia, and now Lori wants to be famous in Centreville. Though Lori says honestly she is having trouble finding venues to play in Centreville, she has a loyal audience here in Virginia.

Janet's Java is filled with audience who are here to listen to Cletus and Lori. This is not a typical coffeeshop - this is a modern bright room, rather large for a coffeeshop. And most impressively there is a listening audience. And I meet songwriters in the audience. Sitting beside us is (Gregory Lygon . And during the evening, Cletus sees Jennifer and Tom of the Burke Presyterian Coffeehouse Church and the group called Random Act, and calls out "hi" to them from the stage.

Lots of concerts have split bills, and/or opening acts, and we just hear a little bit of favorite performers. (Well we get introduced to new acts so that is good.) But Lori and Cletus are such favorites, and hearing them in this relaxed setting where they take plenty of time to talk about their songs and sing so many, this is the best! Tonight, this is the best!

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