Today we headed back to our favorite Yankton coffee spot, Muddy Mo’s, to get some work done.
Like public libraries, local coffeeshops typically have decent wifi and a bustling in-and-out of local customers that really give you a feel for the community. Well, about an hour into working, the place really began to fill up. I mean packed, standing room only, kind of filled up. As much as I wanted to imagine it was because word got out that Champagne Sunday was in town having coffee at Yankton’s very own Muddy Mo’s, alas, it was not. It was piano recital day here at the local cafe. As I paused my Herbie Hancock (sorry buddy) to listen in, I heard little fingers plucking away at all kinds of familiar classical pieces, along with some Christmas carols and Disney tunes. With our son in his very own first year of piano, I have a different tolerance for the slow-going struggle for the striving to combine melody, tempo, site reading and the sheer holding-it-togetherness that these little ones were attempting. Although, I couldn’t help but giggle a bit at the lofty and intellectual musical choices made by the children and/or their teachers, all the while knowing that our kiddo proudly has been honing his ivory skills with such greats as “Super Mario Bros.” theme song, the “Zelda” theme song, and various other video game-inspired greats. Hey, where’s the Champagne Sunday?!?!?! Well, at least he’s enjoying it. I mean, that’s half the battle right there. Hang on…did I just hear “Take Me Out To The Ball Game”? Now we’re talking!!
As the parents and families, packed together like sardines, cheered on their baby Beethovens, Jared and I couldn’t help but clap along. Banding together in parental solidarity, we are all trying to make the world a better place through music by passing that onto our babies, to carry the torch to future generations. Keep going, little ones. Nothing worth doing is easy.
Ever since we played in Yankton in 2018, people have been saying we should play at the Cottonwood and Shipwreck Bar. Well, because of our friend, Heather, and her diligence to get the whole town to love us, we finally got our chance to play there…and we were NOT disappointed! As soon as walked in, we were greeted by fans, cheering us on and hugging us as we tried to load in. I’m pretty sure I sold three sweatshirts before we even started playing music. And on that topic, (and I will try to remember to do this in the summer when we return), I should have gotten a pic of all the fans in our stuff. It was so cool to see so many people adorned in CS gear. T-shirts, hoodies, hats, stickers on water bottles, Yankton LOVES their Champagne Sunday merch!!!
We kicked off the night with “Dressed Up”, sharing an anecdote with the audience about a friend of ours who thought it was “Let’s get ‘Messed up’!”, So, I said, “Whether you’re here to get dressed up, or messed up, it’s sure to be a hell of a time!!!” The audience raised their drinks and roared back at us and we were off! I think there were maybe 75+ people there over the three-hour show and no one left! The woman who booked us, an absolute firecracker and lover of all humans and just beautiful inside and out, Rene, came up at our break and said, “I know we only booked you for two hours, but you can play three hours if you want, or if you’re tired or just don’t want to, you can just play the two.” I’m like…”We did not drive all the way here, set up all our stuff, and pack this house just to quit half way through. We came here to ROCK!!” And rock we did. Pulling out songs like Snow, Substance, Life Fantastic and Psycho, Jared shredded much the surprise and joy of an audience who saw the acoustic duo set up and perhaps imagined they were in for an evening of folk tunes or love ballads. Of course, we did our fair share of those as well, encouraging couples to lean in a little closer, and slowing things down a bit so people could dance. It was all flowing so seamlessly, until the show was hilariously brought to a halt in the second set by a Yankton bar fixture named “Chip”.
So, I asked the audience if they were ready for a little “adult entertainment”? I wanted to get a little raunchy and this felt like the perfect crowd to manipulate a bit. So, after a spicy introduction, we launched into Elixir Salesman. I did a verse on stage and people felt safe…until they didn’t. I put my ukulele down, grabbed my wireless mic, and slunk into the audience towards my first unassuming victim, a shy man who quietly asked, “Who, me?” as I approached him. Oh yes. And I was just warming up. I wove in and out of several participants in my display of feminine seduction, each one more delighted than the last, each one’s wife or girlfriend gleefully giggling to watch her partner get singled out and made to blush. As I walked along the back where the bar was, there were two older men just absolutely yammering away with one another, completely ignoring me! The nerve!!! Of course, they became my number one targets. Set in my sights, I slowly sang one foot in front of their faces, turned STILL towards each other. I stopped the song.
“What in the actual HELL does a lady have to do to get noticed around here?” I goaded.
“I mean, this gorgeous woman is practically throwing herself at you two, and y’all are just, ‘Blah, blah, sports. Blah, blah, gossip and such! What EVEN is happenening?!?!?”
Well, this set the audience in an hysterical laughing frenzy. People were shouting at the two men by this point, just ribbing them mercilessly. The two poor regulars just turned red and laughed, finally facing me.
“That’s better.” I said, and immediately turned my back to them, getting more laughs. Jared knew I was about to come back in, so he played me a grace chord to hang onto and I began singing again, only to hear one of the me behind me say, “Now THAT is a HEARTY song!” I stopped everything once more, repeated the comment so everyone could hear it, and we all died laughing! I said, “That is something you say about BREAD, not music!” I asked the man his name and gave him the microphone, “Chip.” He replied. “Of COURSE it is.” I said. “Well, Chip, I think I’d like to make T-shirts for Champagne Sunday with that quote on them. Would that be ok?” The crowd burst out with “Yes!” and “You HAVE to!” Chip just never stopped grinning, put his arm around me, and said, “You, my dear, may do whatever you’d like.” Oh, Chip, truer words have never been spoken.
Overall, the night was one of the most memorable Champagne Sunday shows. I don’t think we ever stopped smiling.
Another thing I’d like to bring up is a very small gesture that went a long way. As I may have said in an earlier blog, at this time of night, there was nothing open to get food. Plus, since last January, Jared and I made a “no fast-food” commitment. It’s been a year and a half almost, and we really have felt a lot better, especially on the road, so we really didn’t want to go that route. Well, our sweet friend Heather came into the venue that night with a Ziploc bag. “Here are two turkey-pesto sandwiches I made, and 2 cutie oranges.” This was such a simple and easy thing, but she knew we’d be hungry after the show, and that the venue didn’t have food, so she wanted to help a little. I’m not sure any two sandwiches have ever tasted better…
Wrapping up our night with eyes so heavy, we could barely keep our heads up to finish our dinner, we sat in a bit of silence, both feeling overwhelmed, lucky,