Saturday, October 19, 2013

Sunapee Coffeehouse Revisited

Sunapee Coffeehouse
October 18, 2013

The luminous moon reflecting over a calm lake was just an omen of the magic to come.

Unlike the Bill Staines concert where I took the last seat in the hall, the crowd at Sunapee Coffeehouse was sparse when I arrived. Ian was chatting with a handful of people seated in the front row. Four guitars graced the “stage”, two of which were double-necked instruments. Ian’s dog snoozed behind him like a hungover back-up musician. A few more listeners trickled in, and Ian opened the evening with a generous welcome and gratitude for those of us who had made the journey to hear his music.

Immediately I was transported to a different realm. After trying to watch his finger technique, I simply closed my eyes and immersed myself in the music. Ian played extended tracks on solo guitar and then with African thumb piano (kalimba). Most of the compositions were new and unrecorded.

I had to keep pinching myself. I’m in this room with less than two dozen people experiencing mesmerizing music that would lure the muses themselves if they simply heard a few notes drifting through the night air.

Here’s a video of the last song Ian performed. I walked out into the full-moon night, feeling blessed and grateful to have been given such a gift of presence.

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