Today is Dad's first posthumous birthday. Two days ago, we did a tribute concert for him in a nineteenth-century church in Ewing, New Jersey.
While my sister beamed each song's specially chosen photo onto the church wall, we performed about thirty songs, including about eleven that I wrote this year about Dad and some of the people he loved. I was joined by some of the best singers and instrumentalists in the area. Jenny Cat on grand piano, Frank Burk on violin and backing vocals, Nick Crocker on guitar and backing vocals, and Righteous Jolly, James Feichthaler, Pam Crescenzo, and Nelson "JJ" McGarvey as my special guest vocalists.
As a little kid, Dad brought the music to me. And not just records and CDs; he took me to see The Everly Brothers about once a year all throughout my childhood. The opening acts included people like Chet Atkins, Dion, and Nanci Griffith. I was exposed to the best of the best very early on and it's probably why I love writing songs and performing so much today. Here's my first favorite song - The Everly Brothers' "Wake Up Little Susie."
Thanks to Bob and Helen at 1867 Sanctuary Arts and Culture Center for everything, and thanks to Nick Crocker for recording everything.