This is the question every music fan dreams of hearing:
“Would you like to come hear our concert?”
The story of how my daughter heard that music to her ears seems worth telling. Returning to Scotland from DC last week, she struck up a conversation with her seatmate on the plane to London who was a radio producer (and musician) from West Virginia . He was traveling with 18 others to the Celtic Connections Music Festival in Glasgow. (1500 Artists, 300 Events 18 Days 14 Venues 1 Brilliant Festival: www.celticconnections.com. )
She offered some tips on where to find the best pubs, best fish and chips, etc. He asked if she knew about the town named Phillippi in WVA, the site of the first land battle of the Civil War. She said she had been there and had a t-shirt with the covered bridge on it.
Several days and several emails later, he casually popped the question, adding why don’t you come early and spend some time backstage! By then she had established the group was from the Mountain Stage radio program (www.mountainstage.org) which broadcasts weekly over a syndicate of radio stations. Her new best friend was Michael Lipton, who sings and plays electric guitar in the Mountain Stage band and they were in Glasgow to perform live and tape it for broadcast April 1.
So for a couple of hours she hung out with the good ole boys who have been playing together for 25 years, got a free meal ticket from the host Larry Groce, listened to jam sessions and was offered some moonshine the guys brought from home in a Mason Jar.
Then she got to watch a fabulous show from backstage at the Royal Concert Hall as Tim O’Brien, Dougie MacLean and Joy Kills Sorrow performed. The headliner was Mavis Staples with guitarist Rich Holmstrom. Jessica described Mavis as a combination of Aretha Franklin and Janis Joplin, with a rich and sassy voice. Her only disappointment was that when Mavis rocked out, the staid Scots didn’t get up to dance.
Other than that, as we used to say in high school, a good time was had by all.