I love live music. I hardly ever go to performances. I'm either too exhausted or too socially avoidant. I've been thinking about checking out the Sunapee Coffee House at the Sunapee Methodist Church for years, and have not - until Friday evening.
Bill Staines was this week's performer. I've listened to Bill Staines music off and on since I was in my early 20s. Bill is a down-to-earth folk singer / songwriter who has recorded a couple dozen LPs and travelled millions of miles (literally) touring the world and playing his songs.
The suggested admission was $15, and after a flurry of emails I negotiated a reduced admission of $8 based upon my level of income (or lack thereof). Mustering up the courage to fly solo (two friends I invited couldn't make it) I arrived at 7:05 Friday evening and literally took the last seat in the house, snug between an open window (fresh air!) and the merchandise table.
Bill sat up front with a sweetly tuned and battered-looking guitar. He told stories and did some of the yodelling he is famous for. He played a handful of his "hits" like Roseville Fair, Wild Wild Heart, and All God's Critters Got a Place in the Choir. Some of his lyrics are so simple yet so poignant that I broke into tears while listening:
there is a road and that road is all your ownbut we are here, you need not walk alone
to face, not fear each coming new unknown
is the way to lift your wings
child of mine, you are the sweetest song
and the greatest gift I will ever know
If you'd like to hear a Bill Staines song, here is So Sang the River from his Old Wood and Winter Wine LP.