If you’ve ever heard Jared mention his home town, you’ve maybe heard him talk about how it houses several churches and ONE bar. Well, tonight we played at that one bar.
The Model T sits at a cross section of “town” that is where Jared’s grandparents, great grandparents, aunt and uncle, brother (used to), and parents all reside. To be honest, that’s probably why the bar was built there.
Anyway, the new back patio had just been built and the fresh wood smell was heady in the dense summer humidity. The space was covered, but truly provided very little relief from the heat, especially because we were loading in and setting up. By the time we started, Jared’s T-shirt was soaking wet, and my deodorant had fully abandoned me by hitching a ride with my sweat and fleeing the scene.
The crowd at the T are . . . well . . . how can I put this?. . . they are not necessarily connoisseurs of original, quirky, Indie acts from out of town. I mean, we thought a lot of Jared’s old friends and such would come out to the show, and there were quite a few, but as we looked around before beginning, we just saw a lot of blank stares and sort of confused faces. I leaned into Jared after the first song and said, “It’s ok baby. Let’s play like we don’t know ANYONE here, and we’re just proving ourselves once more.” And we did. And we were fine, just like everywhere else. We won them over, sold T-shirts and hats, had a ball with the audience, and made a lot of people cry. And not just us…
So, if you’ve been a CS fan over the past 5 and 3/4 years, you’ve probably seen Rudy on stage with us at least once. You’ve probably been lucky enough to hear him sing with us too. You may have even been fortunate enough to have heard him help his momma sing “Blackbird”. Well, tonight took the cake. I’ve never been a mom to push him to be on stage and perform. I’ll always ask, but if he says no, not a big deal. When he does choose to be with us, my only rule is that he has to participate. He can’t just stand on stage and stare. So, if he does join, he usually sings with varying levels of commitment and enthusiasm. I never criticize him or critique him, but I was noticing that when he sang Blackbird with us in the past, he wouldn’t really project or have confidence. I realized the key was too low. Two days ago, Jared tried changing the key and so we thought we’d offer him the chance tonight. Also, I just can’t hold him anymore for entire songs (especially in that heat) so he had to stand on his own. He held that mic, kept his hat and sunglasses on (a la Jared circa 2003), and absolutely knocked it out of the park. I stood behind and gently sang words to help, but with the changed key, his confidence was great and he had it. You could have heard a pin drop…and all my tears. (And everyone else’s)
Jared’s childhood friend, Josh Bridge and his wife Erin, stayed after everyone had left to help us clean up and visit. The heavy heat forgotten, the awkward crowd reception just a memory, we headed back to the farm with smiles and happy hearts. Rudy, who chose to visit with strangers the majority of the evening, rather than all his family that was there, was exhausted. He was asleep before the gear was loaded up, dreaming of Looney Tunes and his beautiful solo, I’m certain.