Friday, August 22, 2008

Howe Library CD Release Party

Well, friends, it happened yesterday evening! Aidan, my eight year son, came with me to the Howe Library, Hanover, NH to help me set up my performance space with posters, postcards and, of course, CDs for the CD release party. Aidan quite often comes with me to gigs over the summer and that is something I thoroughly enjoy. His company, the chats we have, the help, his face in the audience still grinning at the funny bits he has heard many, many times over, his eyes widening at the scary bits he has heard many, many times over. Once we tested the microphone we ended up not using, we popped over to Romento’s for a pizza supper. We met up with some friends and my wife and daughter who I left there to finish their pizza, to get myself ready for showtime.

A few people were already there, so I hurriedly got into my storytelling outfit (out of my raggedy shorts and tee shirt) and tuned up my drum. As more and more people arrived I kept looking at my list of stories and changing it. In the end the list proved useless. With an age range of retirees to one year olds I went with a few requests and a couple I had planned on telling. The requests kept coming from my three year old daughter, who is quite stubborn, so it is sometimes quite useless to fight her. Hence me telling “The Three Billy Goats Gruff”, not something I usually do. Other tales told were “The Fly” from Vietnam, “The Goat from the Hills and Mountains*” from Alma Flor Ada and her wonderful book ‘Tales Our Abualitas Told’, “The Dragon and the Monkey’s Heart*” from China, and of course “Ananzi Gathers Stories,” my signature piece, if one can call it that! The evening went well, and nobody, as far as I could tell, minding the heckling from the little voice at the back of the room, and I heard some other voices join in with a couple of the stories. Always a good sign.

The Howe Library once again proved cake for all, and once again it had the CD cover on it and tasted wonderful. Denise did a great job organizing and helping, and Peter Blodgett did a great job introducing me. The people who were there were friends, family, fans and some faces I had not seen before, but hope to see again. Sarah, my wife, was able to sit through the whole evening and listen to the tales without having to take Perry out for being noisy, which is a first. So, the night was a happy success.

The photograph above was taken at the first CD release party held at Orford Library where Perry actually helped tell the story "The Three Billy Goats Gruff”.

Thank you to Alex Hanson for the well researched article he wrote for the Valley News about me and the art of storytelling: a great piece of writing. To those who came: thank you. To those who couldn’t make for whatever reasons, I missed you. To all: thank you for helping me get where I am today with five years as a professional teller of tales and a second CD to my name.

*Stories from the new CD, 'More Second-Hand Tales'

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