"Canned Goods", by Greg Brown
One of the highlights of my summer was playing my first gig as a "featured artist". I have been playing and singing contemporary folk music for about 20 years now, but it has mostly been a "when I have time" thing. Funny how in real life, the things one is most passionate about almost always get a lower priority than earning enough money to pay the bills. I am also in the stage where my kids' interests (volleyball, baseball, band, fishing, etc.) take priority. Most of the time.
There are not a lot of opportunities to play music around here, although if I drive about 60 miles north to Duluth, there are a number of bars and coffeehouses that feature local, live music. But, largely through Facebook, I have gotten to know a few local musicians. Last summer, when the Moose Horn and Kettle rivers flooded, I volunteered to play at a benefit concert. The coordinator of the event, Luke, contacted me this spring about a concert series he and his church youth group were putting together, largely because they had felt the need for continued community service after the flood. Luke and the young people of Barnum put in a lot of hard work and planning to create "Chillin' in the Pavilion", the summer concert series at a log pavilion at the Carlton County fair grounds.
It was a great gig, from my perspective. A good number of people showed up, not just Facebook friends I had invited. It was relaxed, and well suited to the style of music I play. My set list included songs by Kate Wolf, Greg Brown, John Prine, Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Iris DeMent, and one original song, which I will post soon.
This song, "Canned Goods", is, to me, everything gardening and home and family is about. Peaches on the shelf, potatoes in a bin. Supper's ready, everybody come on in. Taste a little of the summer, Grandma's put it all in jars.