We love the art fair.

The Shelby Art Fair.  Well, all of them, actually.  Seriously, we have never met an art fair that we didn’t like.  The vibe is so relaxed, so pleasant, so different from most gigs we frequent.  It is a very much looked forward to event in our summer schedule.

What’s more, playing the Shelby Art Fair was just the beginning of our day.  And what a beginning it was!

For one thing, the weather was perfect and sunshiny.  People were everywhere, happy, enguaged and patronizing just what they really love . . .    art!

The photographs, the glasswork, the toys and knickknacks and decorations overflowing, everywhere. It really was a celebration of the senses on display.

We were scheduled to play from 10:30 until 12:30.  A two-hour show of acoustic music, spanning an eclectic blend of every musical genre.

That being said, this is one show where Carl and I make a conscious decision to include some tunes that don’t get much attention at our other gigs.

We love the setting, the stage as well as the vendors we have come to know through the years.

Arriving and parking is always smooth.  Right away it seems like home when we are setting up for another year’s show.

Lots to see, lots to do, lots of stimulation for the the eyes, ears and even the nose.

Surveying the giant stage right before we played our first song, we were struck by the picturesque nature of our setting.  People, families and vendors criss-crossing the common, all in their own little world of art and nature.

There were musicians like us offering their songs, while strolling performers entertained in other small gatherings.  Vendors of every kind, selling food, drink and even dispensing some of their own special joy and wisdom on this fabulous weekend.

We try and walk the grounds as much as our time allows after setting up, giving ourselves a chance to soak up a bit of the local artwork and signature vibe of this home-spun event.

Our first set of the two is always a bit quiet and laid-back compared to the second.  Not that we let loose by any means, but of the two, we try and ease into our first set so as not to disturb the quiet contemplation that the amazing artwork embodies.

Since we are playing with simple acoustic guitars and piano, we try and offer music that is primarily, “listening” music.  Songs that tell stories, for example.  Songs that you can whistle make up our primary set list.  Music that still has an eclectic sound as well.

We began slow and easy.

Smooth and simple.

Simon And Garfunkel. James Taylor and The Beatles.  You know, the basics.

After a little while, we felt more comfortable, and were able to spread our musical wings, playing music that spans several genres.

We played some country, island and of course, more folk music for the excited event-goers.

Some walked past and smiled.  Some stayed and listened.  Some sat on benches and rearranged their day to make more time for our songs.

We liked that.

After a short break where we got to catch up with some dear friends, we were right back at it, bringing to life songs that were written by some of the greatest artists in the history of popular music.

With several deftly selected tunes from the Woodstock era left on our play-list, it was time to finish with a medley designed to get the crowd ready for the next band of high-energy entertainers.

We finished to the delight of the art fair crowd, with one classic song, made famous by two incredible bands: The Letter.

We began the song with the classic version by the Boxtops, and after a couple verses, evolved it into the Joe Cocker version first heard at the most famous music and art fair, back in August of 1969.

After the applause fell away and several of the patrons approached the stage to thank us for our hard work and talent, it was time to clear our equipment, load it up and head out to our next gig.

It was another wonderful experience for us at the Shelby Art Fair.  We hold this event dear to us, each and every time we are lucky enough to entertain there.

Carl and I felt satisfied that we brought another great show to the people of Shelby and hoped that we left enough lastingt memories there to kindle the sparks that would bring us back again in 2020.


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