Goats, Turtles, and Pints

Ava Marie
Saturday afternoon was bright and breezy in Peterborough, New Hampshire. Families arrived at Ava Marie Chocolates in a large wagon drawn by, I think, a tractor. Should have been a tractor, if it wasn’t.

We three Irish musicians sat on bales of hay and shed layers of coats and gloves and scarves as the sun warmed us up. Some of the sets we played were hot, too, but as tree shadows fell on us, our fingers still got cold.

There was a goat that talked to us in between tunes. We took a picture together after the gig. That’s Scott on tenor banjo, Richard on fiddle, and me on guitar. The goat’s horns were streaked with pink. When I asked about it, the owner’s young daughter told us she paints its horns and hooves periodically. I regret missing the full effect. I’d like to see that goat freshly made up.

J’s Tavern
The night before, I sang classic rock cover tunes at J’s Tavern under the bridge in downtown Milford, New Hampshire. The room reminded me of Poor Richard’s Sandwiches in Manteo, North Carolina.

Both are small rooms with low ceilings, located on the water. Poor Richards has nautical memorabilia, ropes, nets, tillers, lamps. I didn’t notice a theme like that at J’s, but they did tell me they have a snapping turtle that hangs out in back.

The snapping turtle hasn’t been seen recently, which worried Bill, who took my picture. Snapping turtles can live a really long time. Hopefully theirs didn’t freeze or pick a fight with a propellor.

What of the gig itself? I had lyrics printed up in a binder, and while it’s kind of tricky to read and play from a music stand, I think it was worth it to include a high percentage of new cover tunes that were 85% there, but needed a lyrical safety net.

Folks bought CDs at both gigs, which is always great, but I worried that the patrons at Ava Marie’s might have thought they were buying a CD of Irish traditional music. I eventually drew up a small sign to clarify.

To the Peterborough folks who bought my folk-pop singer-songwriter albums, I hope that the energy and musicianship displayed thereon were of a par with that of the Celtic trio they enjoyed at Peek Into Peterborough, even though the musical style differed. I sure didn’t mean to sucker anybody. Caveat emptor, and enjoy!

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