Our arrival in Carbondale, CO was beautiful, and we had such a warm welcome. We were asked to make an appearance on the local radio program in Carbondale with amazing radio host, April, or “Ape On The Dink”. Her show is Friday mornings from 8:00 – 10:00 am, so it was an early morning for us. Jared had driven us the night before to a GORGEOUS rest stop about twenty-five minutes outside of town (I had expected him to get us an hour or so from town because it was getting late. He used his night powers to get us as close as his body would allow and then pulled over).

We contacted April while we were in Nashville, shortly after we booked the gig in Carbondale for the last weekend of July. Apparently the entire town explodes with people for the annual “Mountain Fair”, a conglomeration of farmers’ market, art show, music festival, and whatever else you can think of tossed in there. Although we weren’t booked for the actual festival stage (fingers crossed for next year) we were booked for two “after party” nights at local historical bar, The Black Nugget. Saturday from 9:00 pm – 2:00 am (yes, a five-hour show), and Sunday from 8:00 – 11:00.

April was eager to chat with us, and, if you remember from our spring blog, began promoting us by playing Champagne Sunday on the local radio program back in May. She had asked us if we could do a short radio spot the Friday of Mountain Fair to garner interest for our two gigs over the weekend. OBVIOUSLY, we said YES!! Although this meant cutting our Montana time short, we knew it was best, as we are trying to branch out and get to more places we haven’t yet been to. This was a perfect opportunity!

For this event, we asked if Rudy wouldn’t mind getting pictures and video of the process, as Dad and I would be “Full of Hands” (an expression Rudy coined when he was three, to describe having your hands full so you couldn’t help…too darling not to be included in our everyday vernacular) I was so pleased to see what he took pictures of, and how well it was all captured. It was also cool to roll up hearing “That Girl” playing on the radio!

Here is dad entering the radio station (KDNK).

Tuning up while April talks a bit about us and plays “I Like You” as a little buffer music.

He said, “Mom, pose!”

Bad ass Dad!

Doing a little “Dressed Up”

So, I initially wasn’t gonna post this one. My immediate reaction upon seeing it was, “Ugh…I look so FAT! My arm looks huge, I have a double chin, my eyes are all squinty, my this, my that…” My GIANT insecurities just front and center, captured for all to see. Then I remembered, like a tortilla slap in my double-chinned face, this is what joy looks like to my son. He CHOSE to snap this picture because it is his mommy, in her happiest place, between him and Dad, singing, and to him, I just looked beautiful. This is what he sees when he sees ME, and he is proud enough of that to capture the moment. And you know what, the more I looked at this photo, I began to believe it as well. Oh my gosh, the weight is so temporary. I’ve been fluctuating my whole life, but I never let it steal my JOY….ESPECIALLY when I get to be singing and playing. I am currently in my eighteenth year with my sweet Champagne Sunday. The project that brought me my husband, son, home, whole adult identity, and slowly has revealed to me my greater purpose in this life. I can’t possibly be mad at this image. It evokes all the love I feel when I am exactly where I need to be; sandwiched between the two most important men in my life, doing what I love. So here it is for all to see…me, exactly as joy would have me.

A quick shot with April before her return to her show.

I included the next few shots because Rudy felt they were important enough to remember, and I love seeing the world through his eyes.

So, my poor ukulele began giving me some issues in Nashville after having a different issue fixed. However, I didn’t quite pick up on it until it was too late to take it in for repair. I’ve played around it on tour, but it has bothered me sooooo bad. Well, in the town we’re staying in, the laundromat we came to was right near a beautiful music store (Glenwood Music). I brought my uke in to see if there was anything they could do. Of course they could fix it . . . but not in time for our weekend shows OR even before we headed home to Tacoma. So, I just “happened” to pick up this gorgeous Lanakai ukulele, plugged it in and…oh no. It was PERFECT. Played as fluid as the incredible water color it’s covered in. I’ve actually never played a uke that sounded so nice plugged in. With a Fishman pick-up, it came complete with a built-in tuner and three-band EQ. There was no way I was leaving without her. “Bluekele” will make her debut at Saturday’s gig in Carbondale, CO, and hopefully will be with me forever.

Where there is the opportunity to play, my Jared will find time to enchant me with Debussy’s Claire de Lune.

At this point, our laundry was done, and the euphoria of getting a new instrument was beginning to wear off, and we all realized we were STARVING! I never did get the name of this place, but Rudy’s sweet face was a good enough memory.

(Jared here: It was called “Sal Mex“.) 

We knew that we probably wouldn’t want to be walking around the Mountain Fair the days we had shows because we really needed to preserve our energy, so we decided to go for a couple hours Friday evening. It had kind of cooled off, and a huge drum circle was scheduled to take place around 4:00. We got there around 4:30 and it was PACKED!! April spotted us almost immediately and gave Rudy this drum to play. She said he could keep it, probably because no one could make it look cooler than this!

After perusing the fair and all of its various art, jewelry, clothing, trinkets, and more vendors, we found a couple salads and a funnel cake (you know, cuz balance…) and a beautifully cool place to sit near a creek, and enjoyed our dinner!  We listened to a teenage band, heavily influenced by Nirvana that was playing on a stage at the other side of the fair from the initial drum circle stage and the band that was now there, kicking off the fair. It was a fun evening but time to get back and get rested for the upcoming weekend!

With my “blukelele” cozily packed away in its case, my other uke sat in the backseat near Rudy. He asked, “What are you gonna do with this, Mom?” I told him it would probably hang in the living room but he could have it if he wanted. “Really?!?” he said, and immediately picked it up. I taught him a simple C chord, and said, “There. Now you know the first chord of “Birdies”. Do you want me to teach you the rest?”

“Yes!” he said.

Within fifteen minutes, he had learned the entire song – time changes and all – and was singing and playing the song within a half hour. I cried. Not because he’s some kind of prodigy or anything like that, but just because he’s so pure in his desire to play. And it is exactly that to him, “play”. He reminds me as he’s dabbling and discovering, that music can come from his own two hands, whether it is on piano or uke, or just his voice. He can create music where there wasn’t any. It’s a magic that we sometimes forget while in the throws of the grind of this business. Obviously we LOVE what we do, but Jared and I are both far away from those first moments of experiencing the newness of making music and actually creating something where something wasn’t.

We’ll never force him to play because we want him to feel like it’s a part of him that is his by choice and done for joy and the love of it, but I sure hope he continues to try new things and pick up instruments without hesitation or self judgement. He really is quite a natural and I would love to hear what it would be like if he began writing…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.