Good morning and welcome to Monday,
I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend. If you are driving today look out for all those other people that forgot how to drive in the snow. This is a fairly long post, with show information for this week at the end. But first I thought I would share little story to lighten up your Monday.
Our story opens on a quiet Sunday morning in the kitchen, drinking coffee and reading the Sunday paper while Christmas Music plays on the stereo.
Ahhh, Sunday, a day of rest, and relaxation, and of course the Patriot’s at 1:00 p.m……. But what’s that??????? Get a Christmas tree????? Today?????Okay,,,,what…..a Tree Farm...cut down a fresh one …..only open until 4:00……...so…While Tom Brady was busy breaking records on Sunday with his 201st career win with the Patriots the lovely Elise and I were climbing up and down the hills of a tree farm in search of the perfect little Charlie Brown Christmas Tree. Ahhh, the things I do for love.
Now as many of you that have had the pleasure of knowing Elise can attest to, she is truly worth it. And, let me state adamantly for the record , that under normal conditions, I would search the entire Black Forest and the Hills of New Hampshire and Vermont to find her the perfect tree. But last week, I somehow managed to do something to my left hip that left me in extreme pain and discomfort. Even stepping up onto the stage Saturday night was giving me issues. Getting ready to go to the show that night I even had difficulty bending over to put on my own shoes and socks. I was not my usually mobile self, I was visibly hobbling and limping, and I was a cursing out loud…..a lot….Yes, I admit, I was no joy to be around and in fact, my hip had transformed me into the “Cranky Old Guy”.
Remember back in the seventies ,Tower of Power had a hit song entitled “What is Hip”.? I can assure you that the “Hip” that was “hipper than hip” T of P were singing about is not the same hip I have dealt with for the last few days, The good news is that this morning I woke up about 98% pain free and my mysterious hip issues seem to be resolved, so I don’t think I’ll be needing a titanium replacement anytime soon. Anyway, back to the tale of the tree.
So we finally find the perfect little tree, a cute little guy barely five feet tall. I confess I felt a little guilty when the Tree Farming- Lumberjack- Guide-Guy cut the little tree down. Being so much smaller than most of the other trees on the farm, it seemed like we were prematurely ending the life of this fragrant evergreen before it had even reached puberty. Elise looks at me sideways, then assures me that this is not the case, so we load our little tree into this rickety trailer with a bench installed in the middle and hold on for dear life. The tractor pulling the trailer begins making it’s way down the side of this tree farm mountain towards the flatlands below. The driver is this young fella wearing a Patriot’s Stocking Cap stained with tree sap and a few pine needles. I sense he might be a bit aggravated about missing the Pat’s game because he manages to hit every rut, bolder, stump and bump in our path, each time sending a bolt of searing pain through my hip. I grimace a smile, while inside my head ,a chain of expletives is exploding like my brain has developed Tourette’s. Finally we reach the flatlands near the ramshackle barn. I climb out of the trailer and watch in horror as they stand our little tree on top of a red metal box and proceed to violently shake it. Then they grab it and shove it through this giant metal tube and pull it out the other side so that it is now encased in a festive red and green netting. We pay the mercenary tree merchants and load our Charlie Brown Tree into the truck. Then we head home and the real fun begins.
After spending about two hours rearranging the furniture in our living room to accommodate our tree we bring it in the house and set it into the stand. Frances the Cat is not happy. Not only have we rearranged furniture, which Frances finds unacceptable, but now there is a tree inside her house. This is apparently confusing to Frances, who is an indoor/outdoor cat, so she expresses her delight by using the downstairs rug for her litterbox. Now I have not only killed a tree, but I am ready to kill the cat. I maintain my composure and managed to install the lights without too much cursing, I gave the tree some aspirin, I took a couple myself, and called it a day. Elise got to hang her special ornaments on the tree while the music of Vince Vivaldi played on the stereo……...it doesn’t get much better than that.
I want to take a minute to thank everyone that came out to our show at the Hearing Room in Lowell this past Saturday. You were a small but mighty crowd, and we truly enjoyed performing for you. You guys were awesome, and we hope to see you all at Angela’s CFP in Tyngsboro this Friday the 9th for another episode of the Hugh McQueen Music Project. Our first set Friday starts about 6:00 p.m. and we will be playing until 10:00 p.m. And they have a full bar with really cold beers and the best thin crust pizza on the planet!
Please do us a huge favor and make sure you respond to the event invitation on Facebook to let us know you’ll be there. I hate to be mercenary, but stuff like that really helps us to secure future bookings, and it helps the venue management schedule enough waitstaff and bartenders to keep you well taken care throughout the evening.
Also happening this week;
On Tuesday evening December 6th, I will be Hosting the weekly Open Mic at the Hearing Room in Lowell. Sign up for acts starts at 6:30 and the show runs 7 until 10. This is a great opportunity for any new performers to get a feel for performing on stage. It also affords more seasoned professionals a chance to try out new material and hone their skills. We are looking for Singers, Musicians, Magicians, Poets, Comics, and Storytellers. Sorry, no Mimes, after all, it is The “Hearing” Room. So come on in to listen, play, and perform. What better way to spend a Tuesday night than to support the local Arts and Live Music Scene.
Check out the Audio video Track of my cover of Jerry Garcia's Friend of the Devil, recorded this summer at NH Tunes Studios in Manchester NH. It's posted on Facebook in the event for Angela's this Friday. And please respond to the invitation. We appreciate it.