This show was, in typical Woodsongs fashion, a unique experience in and of itself. Each show unfolds like a story that has no script. After this show and upon reflection, I found myself thinking that each of these men could fill an entire interesting hour on the radio just talking. They each, in their own ways, articulately brought insights and deep experience onto the Woodsongs stage.
John C. Merino was an amazing guest. In some ways, John’s music and stories are bigger than life. One gets the feeling of visiting with an old, important friend sharing his rich life experiences. As he mentioned, his music often speaks to mid-life concerns and, I must say, it does so with eloquent beauty. “Lead and Follow” touched me personally and with immediacy. As long as I have listened to music, that has rarely happened for me. John mentioned after the show that Woodsongs allows artists to play music that doesn’t comfortably fit in other settings. John clearly thrives in this milieu.
Scott Regan showed us why he is a Rochester cultural figure. The story about his Leon Redbone interview was hilarious and oddly poignant. Scott selected songs from his songwriting catalogue that displayed his wry, deep insight. His songs are distinctly and readily recognizable as his own, not only because of his interesting tune structures, but also because his unique worldview is revealed in each lyric. His comments about songwriting and what makes a good song are must-listens for anyone interested in the creative process.
Thanks to my good friend, Rhonda Harp, for lending her beautiful voice to the intro song. She and I were musical partners as a duo in 2009 for a too-short time. It sometimes, but rarely, happens that a musical chemistry evolves such that you no longer feel like two people on-stage but rather, you have a sense of being integral parts of a larger, unified organism. It becomes a symbiosis. Rhonda and I were easing in that direction when the association had to end because of my compulsive need to work a lot. (Rhonda likes to do other things like see her family once in a while and get to bed before 4:00am). Whenever we do play together now, it’s a bittersweet reminder of what we bring out in each other musically.