After the 2 hour Luthier Panel (which goes by too quickly), everyone takes a dinner break, and then a quick soundcheck for the first of two public concerts.
One of the unique things about our concerts (besides the instruments, obviously) is the flexible and “current events” nature of the roster. We list some of the key players who are pre-booked, but there are always last-minute surprises. For instance, we didn’t expect Tom Shinness or Stacy Hobbs, who managed to make it (both of whom typically get a spot). Then there are all the first-time attendees, many of which play during the Open Mic and Round Robin sessions. Some of these are invited to debut in the concerts – like Claude Laflamme last year, and Sean Martin this year.
Each concert is completely different as well (Sunday’s will be a separate blog). Not only are no tunes repeated, but performers usually vary, due simply to the amount of talent on hand. We’ve got the transitions down almost to a science, so it’s a wild variety night and a win-win both for us and the audience.
Chuck Thompson CHGP shot video of the concerts and has most of them posted. Saturday night is bundled here. They are not in order of the actual setlist below (and more are expected), but you should be able to recognize the players as you click the various clips. In the blog below, I’ll note tunes with accompanying video with links to Chuck’s page. Note in the screen capture below that there is a Page 2 (Next >) and also the “full screen” button for the streaming video (lower right).
The evening was emcee’d by host Joe Morgan
This year’s Saturday night concert opened with Stephen Bennett.
We had great stage lighting this year; I especially love the effect of the pink hair.
Claude Laflamme from Quebec next performed original instrumentals
Muriel Anderson played (I believe) a new 20-string arrangement of the classic Nola.
Master harp guitar builder Mike Doolin is now a master player instead. See him killing on Stevie Wonder’s “Overjoyed” on the video page.
Drew Baldwin, who tends to show up out of the blue at the Gatherings (after his star turn at HGG7), is always a refreshing delight, with effortless walking bass harp guitar backing his old blues or new novelty songs. His sensitive and tasteful video of his toilet paper song being a case in point. He played Bob Hartman’s short-scale Dyer 3 in Saturday’s show, by the way.
Next up: a 180-degree switch from the ridiculous to the sublime. Oleg Timofeyev’s video includes two Russian pieces that he has unearthed for his specialized instrument: “Moonlit Night” and a 1930s Mazurka.
Brad Hoyt next played his Sedgwick arpa viola caipira for a new arrangement of “Here Comes the Sun.”
Tom Shinness was captured performing Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love” on his amplified Gibson.
Closing out the first set was Hiro Takai, with two pieces: “Kabuki Grace Women” and “Never Give Up!”
Tom Shinness then joined Hiro for a completely improvised jam that sounded like they’ve been a duo for years.
After intermission, Stacy Hobbs (on his c.1909 Stahl) gave us “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” by The Police.
Keith Medley doing more of what he does best
Anthony & Dave Powell performed Michael Hedges’ “Spring Buds”
Don Alder with “Man from Lady Lane”
Continuing the tribute pieces, Andy Wahlberg debuts “Bennett Diction.”
Tim Donahue closes out the final set with 2 new pieces on his electric harp guitar.
And as always (but always different!), Stephen leads us in the grand finale of “The Water is Wide.”
He asked me and anyone who had hosted one of the Gatherings to come up first (missing is John Doan, host of HGG3). L-R: Mike (HGG6), Brad (HGG8), me (hanger-on), SB, Andy (HGG4), Joe (HGG10).
This was pretty funny – Stephen had Andy do a solo, then me, then Brad…meanwhile, 4 dozen players were hanging around backstage wondering when to come on! Finally they did.
And here was the result:
This is the final master group photo of the 10th Harp Guitar Gathering. It starts with one of Chuck’s photos (but Chuck is in it, so who took it?!), then I Photoshopped from several other photos so that we see every player’s face, then I added two players from Sunday’s finale that somehow missed Sat night. First person to figure out which two wins a free Water is Wide CD (if you were there, you’re ineligible!).
We think this was a record – 51 harp guitarists total.