Be Prepared...or Not

Last night Craig and I had the honor and pleasure of performing as finalists in the Celebration of the Song event, produced by Chico radio station KZFR, hosted by Joe Craven.

In the weeks leading up to the showcase, Craig and I traded nightmares - when we weren't plagued with insomnia. We worried. We imagined every worst-case scenario.  And we rehearsed our set over and over and over again.
I was prepared to be in awe of the venue: The Big Room at the Sierra Nevada Brewery in Chico. It's a premiere venue, designed for music, beautifully appointed. And the sweet aroma of brewing beer hangs in the air. The stage has hosted some of the biggest names in Americana music.

I was prepared to be in awe of the other musicians: Hannah Jane Kyle - a young gal who crafts beautiful tunes and delivers them with tremendous style.  Dan Casamajor, who has been on the music scene since the 1960s and performs delightful folk-rock songs.

I was NOT prepared for the genuinely joyful, supportive atmosphere - the camaraderie and the encouragement that flowed from every corner. All the musicians backstage were talking each other up, offering advice and hugs. Love flowed right back from the audience during the performances and afterward.  We were completely enveloped in a genuine "Celebration" of the Song. The folks in charge deserve a standing ovation for creating such a magical evening.

It was a rare treat for us, an event that has left me smiling and wishing that every songwriter could have that kind of positive, uplifting experience on stage.

I'll being chewing on that possibility for awhile.

We debuted a new song last night -- here's a chorus of Cryin' Highway -- captured just before the video camera batteries gasped their last:


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