I have to say that cows are fascinating animals. They make funny noises, it's amusing to watch them walk around, and they sometimes interact with each other in bizarre ways. When we got there, they were watching us intently as we were setting up our equipment. As weird as this sounds, I felt like they were staring into my soul. (For a second, I almost felt guilty about the last steak I ate, but...nahh.)
We were playing off the moment during our setup time, Miles busting out all kinds of country songs while I offered a chorus of "I'm an Old Cowhand." When the people arrived, the cows tended to still hang out by the fence for a bit, especially when food was offered. As we played, it almost seemed as if the cows were a more attentive audience than the people (who of course were there to schmooze--that's right, schmooze--and tour the house and have peanuts and punch). When we stopped playing for a second so the organizers could talk and give out door prizes, the herd moved elsewhere.
The gig did start of in an unusual way, as Kris suddenly became flush and nauseous right before downbeat time and had to go inside and cool off for a bit. Fortunately, we had the best possible setup for that situation--a guitarist who also played bass--and were able to start on time without him. The lack of a chordal background meant a slight lack of depth, and it meant that I took really long solos, but everything turned out fine and the people (and cows) loved it. The symphony's conductor used to be the music minster at my church a few years back, so we got to say hi for a second.
Oh, and there was a Weird Cow Moment during the last tune, as one of them tried to wriggle under the barbed-wire fence to get at some food and managed to get stuck there for a second. All the people nearby (even the well-dressed ones) sprung into action, helping scoot the not-too-cooperative cow get back on the right side of things.
We were trying to think of possible bovine-themed jazz tunes (besides the obvious ones like "Cow Cow Boogie"). If we weren't in wallpaper mode, we might have played "Bessie's Blues," but we did play "
The team is practicing: Last night was the first official horn rehearsal for the Team Demon/Dingus combo. I posted about it on the group site, so I won't duplicate my efforts here, but I will say that we're looking forward to a preliminary gig really soon.
Blowing out how many candles?? I read it on the "people" page of yesterday's paper and couldn't believe it: Pat Metheny turned 50! He's been recording for nearly thirty years, so I guess that adds up, but he just looks so young and his music definitely has this eternally-youthful quality about it. Pat hails from the Kansas City suburb of Lee's Summit, Missouri, and a lot of his tunes reflect that typical Midwestern sensibility. If I had to describe it, it would be something like "driving through the cornfield on a beautiful Sunday afternoon with the windows down, when all is right with the world." I love the sound he gets on his guitar, and my spirit is buoyed by the sense of optimism reflected in so much of his music. So happy (belated) birthday, Pat; may you continue to provide musical joy for years to come.