The People That You Meet
My hand is finally (mostly) healed, so I’ve been taking advantage of the opportunity to get back out and play more, which has reminded me of the blessing of community that comes with being a performing and writing musician.
I know I have written before about Terrance Reeves, Danielle Pinals, Andrew Geano, and our open mic crowd from Newton and Boston. But I want to shine the spotlight on a different crowd today.
On August 5, I will be sharing the stage at One Broadway (Lawrence, MA) with Anne Sandstrom and John Loretz. Anne is an incredible singer-songwriter, who specializes in using non-standard guitar tunings which pair with her ethereal voice to create an incomparable songscape. John is an incredibly talented multi-instrumentalist and an incredible performer, particularly in the folk tradition. He has introduced me to Donovan, Gordon Lightfoot, and even Neil Young songs that I had not yet come across.
We will be doing a two-hour show together at One Broadway in Lawrence, Massachusetts. The show will be broadcast, and I will share the details as soon as I have them. I will open and play for 45 minutes, then John and Anne will take over, and finally we will all join together for several songs. (You can buy tickets here to attend in person or livestream from anywhere!)
In addition to meeting and getting to play alongside these incredible talents, I have also over these past few years had the opportunity to meet and share a stage with some local legends.
Back in late 2019, I played an open mic in Concord, Massachusetts. At one point during the show, an older gentleman – dressed all in black – came to the stage and took out a magnificent- looking Ibanez semi-hollow guitar. He proceeded to blow us all away with incredibly soulful and moving renditions of obscure classics from the 1960s.
I made some comment to the person sitting next to me, who replied, “You know who that is, don’t you? That’s Snake!”
Snake, also known as Erik Gullicksen, was the bassist of the celebrated 1960s Massachusetts band Orpheus. The band had several hit songs and records, and continues to perform today, albeit with a different line up.
Throughout Covid, I got to spend more time listening to Eric/Snake through many of the virtual open mics that kept us all active and engaged during the lockdown, and then, a few months ago up in Lawrence, I got to see him again in person at an event. Sadly, he passed away about a month and a half ago after a long struggle with COPD.
Jen and I have been frequenting the used book and record stores here in the region, trying to rebuild my old collection of vinyl that was sadly lost to basement flooding a few decades ago. In one of our travels, I stumbled across two of the original Orpheus albums. On one of them, the full band is featured right on the front cover, with the young Snake at bottom center.
It’s been fascinating to listen to them from their prime, playing music that is reminiscent of very early Chicago Transit Authority, but with its own psychedelic twist.
I am so thankful for having had the opportunity to meet the man, and to get to know him, even just the very slightest bit. And it’s a reminder to continue to make every moment count.
As always, thank you for being on this journey with me.