old time music, new and vintage, with early Red Clay Ramblers favorites

Photos in these slideshows were taken by Kathleen Tannian Sheehan 
Delaware - Pennsylvania Weekend
Page 1 (On to Page 2)

April 10, 2015
Brandywine Friends of Old Time Music
Unitarian Fellowship Hall
Newark DE

April 11, 2015
Front Hall House Concert
Bryn Athyn PA
(near the Pennypack Creek)

April 12, 2015
Susquehanna Folk Music Society
Abbey Bar
Harrrisburg PA

Brandywine Friends of Old Time Music
(click pics for larger view)
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2 pics (above and below) by Lisa Bushman
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2 pics (above and below) by Rich Goodheart
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Susquehanna Folk Music Society
Pics by Joe Newberry
(click pics for larger view)
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Front Hall House Concert
(click pics for larger view)
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Kurt Asplundh's view of The Firm

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Kathleen Tannian Sheehan and the guys

Kathleen took awesome pics and videos at the show.  Her pictures are in the slide shows at the top of this page and on PAGE 2.  Videos of "My Old Cottage Home" and "Beale Street Blues" are on this page with "Piney Mountains" on PAGE 2. GO TO PAGE 2 for more of Kathleen's pics and videos plus more of Bill's story of the weekend.


by Bill Hicks

toll_bill.jpg (28791 bytes)We set right out from Jim's about 9 AM Friday last, packin' up a durn good load, aiming to get up to Newark, Del, home of the Blue Hens, in plenty of time for our Friday night concert for the Brandywine Folk Society. The Google said it would be a cinch, but we did know that there was DC sitting fat in the way. There'd been a time when you could take the 295 shortcut through Anacostia and brave the broken concrete as a fine trade-off for actual progress. This time the smart phone Joe was operating said take 495 east, but by then it was already stop and go, and the phone would tend to tell us alts just after the exit had passed, or whilst we were in the far left with no way to get over. Sometime after the Baltimore Tunnel we finally started moving at highway speed again, and paid the $8.00 toll gladly to escape the molasses.

It turned out we got to Newark in decent time, and didn't have to just sit around and wait for a building to open.

Brandywine_bill.jpg (59188 bytes)The show started after it got dark, and the house was nicely full, including a former '70s Chapel Hill vet ("I worked at the Record Bar," she said, grinning) who asked for "Give Me the Roses," and someone else who called for "Hobo's Last Letter," both numbers from earlier times which we hadn't done in a good while. We did 'em, and well I thought. (I ought to write a sequel before it's too late: "Hobbs' Last Letter," for the British philosophers in our midst.) We had a spectacularly capable sound guy too, and he put one of the best mics I've ever played into on my fiddle. It was an auspicious start to the journey. The fancy mic had a green wind screen which matched my bow stick, and my bandana (see the vid, below). The stars were aligned. There were encores, and after we got the van packed up we headed out up I-95 for Wilmington and Philly and Rafe Stefaninni's wonderful cottage on the hills just west of the city proper.

fellini_roma_-_street_sceneg_bill.jpg (31216 bytes)I was riding in the back, Jim driving, Joe running the navigation equipment, which was a nice female voice telling us to take lefts and rights and such as we passed through the gigantic urban complexity that is the Wilmington-Philly nexus. There was much to see as we whizzed along, and I wished I had a movie camera, like Frederico Fellini in his marvelous "Roma," which I watched again last night just to remind myself of the trip through our first Nation's Capital. There was, at one point, even a huge wreck to observe, fortunately on the far side of the turnpike and separated from us by concrete barriers, but including police, ambulances, and a very big traffic jam. We also went past the beautiful "boat houses" along the Deleware, lit as though it were still Christmas, and past the big skyscrapers of the city center, then through a dark tough-ass section of mean streets sprinkled with quickly parked police cars with their blue lights spinning. I was thinking at this point that I did hope Rafe didn't live just here, but we kept on rolling and were soon climbing up out of the city and into yarded houses, and eventually and a few miles later we were turning into Rafe's driveway, a tricky left turn just below the brow of a hill crest that must be an adventure every time. The porch light was on.Rafe1_bill.jpg (23179 bytes)

Rafe was waiting up and escorted us in. I'd heard much of him, but never met him. Joe is in a band with him, and Jim knows everyone in the music world. We went into his kitchen and I looked around, somewhat dazed. We were all very tired from the long day. I picked the cot set up in his living room, discretely privatized by a nice Japanese screen set just past the passage from the hall, and quickly set about crashing once I'd brushed my teeth. Here is where I slept: Rafe and his daughter are in this photo playing music and the cot is stowed away. The two of them have a good CD available, by the way. She was in Nashville at the time of our visit and sending her dad frequent notes about life in Music City.

stonewall_bill.jpg (103815 bytes)Saturday morning arrived with bright blue skies and temps in the high 50s. The pollen that had appeared down here in NC was a month back up there--the backwards procession of seasons was obvious as we drove along the interstate. In Philly the Forsythia was hinting at a spring to come, and the pollen was blessedly absent. Pennsylvania ought to argue with New Hampshire for the sobriquet "granite state." They gots the rocks. Just across from Rafe's house was this absolutely first class stone wall. I seem to have quit the stone-mason's ways for good, but I still notice good rock work:

Inside Rafe's foyer was his extensive boot collection. He displays them because, he said, "they're actually uncomfortable."

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There's more Bill Hicks "Up 'N Back" on PAGE 2


 More recent concert pics
Many thanks to Kathleen Tannian Sheehan, Kurt Asplundh, Lisa Bushman, Rich Goodheart, and Joe Newberry for the pics on this page.  And thanks also to Bill HIicks for his tale of the journey.

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April 20, 2015