Sunday, September 26, 2004

The minstrels of the dawn

Well, we're back from KC. We did a whirlwind trip -- to Oktoberfest on the riverfront, where the oom-pah band played and the beer poured... we had bratwurst and mostly walked around and soaked it up. Did a little dancing to the headliner band, whose claim to fame was that they could do anything as a polka... although they didn't do much polka stuff. Matter of fact, it seemed that their real claim to fame was being able to do any song in any style they chose -- so we got the "Hang On Sloopy" salsa or something like that -- it was fun. We left, went home and went to the Renfest the next day, where the lute debued (more below).

The lute plays pretty well. The action could be a little beter, but when all is said and done, I did a pretty good job especially for a first time. I can do a few things to improve the action. If I'm not careful there can be a little buzzing on the fourth fret. But the JB Weld is holding the tuning peg key on quite well, and it keeps in tune better than I expected. Nylon strings stretch anyway.

Mark and Q and I went in costume, and the ladies went mundane. We split up, ladies/gents, and wandered off where Mark introduced me to Madame Red and the Vanilla Virgin, both quite lovely and friendly ladies. They seemed to have a certain... "feel" for me. Almost as if I had known them. ;-)

We strolled and played. Q wasn't feeling himself -- a little sick. It wasn't until about 3 in the afternoon that he perked up. A lot of people were very interested in the lute. I got a lot of questions about it -- most of the women wanted to hear me play something for them, and most of the men were quite curious about where I got it, what it was, and how it sounded.

I stopped and bought a CD from Matty Striker -- I've seen her and various others playing together on what appears to be a semi-permanent stage at the Renfest over the past few years. I've never had much of a chance to stand and listen to more than two or three songs, but I loved the music when I heard it. Turns out she also has a nice voice, and she's a striking woman with her streaked hair and garb. The CD (Lulle Me Beyond Thee) I bought is very good.

All in all it was a pretty nice day. I just love the atmosphere at the Faire, and it's fun to contribute to it with the garb and the music and all.

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