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Planning For Pumpkinfest...


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As repeated storms pound (lightly) the Oregon Coast, I get to do the Marge McKinnis Thing—“I stay inside, ‘cause I want to write about love.” Between next week’s column for the paper, the Southern Oregon Songwriters’ newsletter, organizing the Wedding Setlist, and seeing if I can maybe write two songs for the writers’ group in England, there is really quite a bit to do, but I’ve done rather little of it—I’ve just read, and rested my sore foot.

I’m on for the Pumpkinfest in Lafayette; the chief organizer said she liked my material, and I’ve sent her a poster. 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, 24 October, a week before Hallowe’en. I’m on for an hour, and it’ll be outside (I hope the weather’s decent). I tried to concentrate on kid-friendly material:

Eatin’ Cornflakes from a Hubcap Blues—relatively slow two-step

Bluebird on My Windshield—fast bluegrass

Doing Battle with the Lawn—fast bluegrass

Hey, Little Chicken—slow & sleazy quasi-blues

Twenty Saddles for My Chicken—fast bluegrass

Vampire Roumanian Babies—fast bluegrass

Ain’t Got No Home in This World Any More (Woody Guthrie)—mod. fast two-step

I May Write You from Jupiter—fast bluegrass

The Well in the Glade (Beth Williams)—spooky waltz

The Dog’s Song—supposed to be rock ‘n’ roll, but solo it’s going to be country

Dead Fishes—very fast Elizabethan bluegrass

When They Die, I Put Them in the Cookies—fast bluegrass

In that order, I think. Starts with a couple of relatively set pieces, that are hard to screw up even playing to a strange crowd, and ends with one that’s got a proven track record of appealing to kids—and a couple of Hallowe’en songs, too, in honor of the season. (I’ll need to use the new amp for the vocals, so I can add spooky reverb to my voice for Beth’s “Well” song.) 12 songs isn’t quite an hour’s worth when played solo, though—I may need to asdd a couple more.

For the Wedding Setlist, I’ve got the following—not in order, yet:

Saturday Night Waltz—deliberate waltz (Dance of the Happy Couple)

Glad That You’re Here (Stan “Lightning George” Bolton)—slow blues

Distraction (Diane Ewing)—slow rock

So Far (Marge McKinnis)—slow blues

Test Tube Baby—fast Elvis-style rock ‘n’ roll

I Want a Man for Christmas—rock ‘n’ roll

Our Own Little Stimulus Plan (Betty Holt)—Buddy Holly-style rockabilly

The Dog’s Song—rock ‘n’ roll

Dance a Little Longer (Woody Guthrie)—country rock

Duct Tape—mod. speed country

About Love (Marge McKinnis)—bluegrass, Buddy Holly style

Tillamook Railroad Blues—deliberate blues

Hey, Little Chicken—mod. slow & sleazy quasi-blues

Lilly’s Song (Screamin’ Gulch)—slow blues

Simple Questions (O.N. Vinstad)—rockabilly

For Their Own Ends (Southern Pigfish)—folk-rock

A Mosquito Ate My Sweetheart Up (Segura Brothers)—fast Cajun waltz

If You Could (Polly Hager)—soft rock (if I can get the chords)

Goin’ Down the Road Feelin’ Bad (Woody Guthrie)—fast bluegrass

Includes two songs some of the band haven’t played before, and six that none of them have played before, and two more that even I haven’t played before. We do need to practice.

And I still don’t know if the above is what the Happy Couple want. We could even play some cover tunes for this gig—something I normally avoid—because it’s not a paid performance, so there’s no copyright issues, and promoting ourselves doesn’t enter into it, either—it’s all for the bride and groom, and what they want. (The main limitation I have to work with is I can’t sing most other people’s stuff, because I don’t have the voice range—but I’m cast as the lead singer of the band. I can only do what’s possible.)

Joe

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