Sunday, April 25, 2010

Marc Gunn in Concert - Over Way too Quickly!

It happens EVERY SINGLE TIME, only this time it's worse than usual! I book the artists, then get caught up in every day life, promoting the concerts, cleaning the house, planning the food... then the artists arrive, the guests begin to arrive, the concert begins, and I'm absolutely enthralled. Before I know it, the concert is over, it's the next morning, we're sharing breakfast with the artist, then they're on their way. Out of our lives, on to their next show, all too quickly.
This time it's worse, because I have been a fan of Marc Gunn ever since I discovered his Irish and Celtic Music Podcast about five years ago, when he only had a few shows posted. The podcast now over 80 shows, to tell you how long I've been a fan. When I first registered with Concerts In Your Home, I was asked for my "dream artists" to host, and my first listing was Marc Gunn. So you can imagine how excited I was when it worked out that he could come to Nebraska.
Except now, instead of anticipating the show to come, I am remembering the show that was. It was an AMAZING show. His music, showmanship, humor and enthusiasm really infected the crowd, which was one of the largest we've ever squeezed into our living room.
Since then I've been listening to the collection of his CD's that I loaded onto my iPod and thinking how we didn't hear even a tiny fraction of the music this man has produced. Therefore, I have made the decision that at some point, we are going to have Marc back for a repeat performance. I think everyone who was at the concert would agree. Except this time, we've got to get him a few more gigs in the area so he can stay longer.
Marc is always working on new projects, and his fans even have a chance to sponsor his new CD at The Year of the Kilt. He is also the host of Celtic Invasion Vacations, where small groups travel with him to become immersed in local culture, which of course, includes lots of music.
The hidden agenda for this concert was that we were using it as a ruse to celebrate the Mister's 50th birthday, which was about ten months ago. Of course, it's impossible to do something as a surprise when he's expecting it, so we went a different route.

The Mister can trace his family heritage back to Scotland where his clan, the McFeaters fled first to Belfast, then to South Carolina before moving west to Nebraska. Of course, it's much more convoluted than that, but the family history book is about three inches thick, so you should appreciate the condensed version.

Because the McFeaters were a broken clan, they came under the protection of the McLaren clan, whose tartan the decendants are entitled to wear. We decided that the Mister is proud enough of his Scots/Irish heritage that he should have a kilt to express his feelings.

Getting a kilt made for someone who is unsuspecting is no easy task. There are lots of different measurements to get so that the kilt fits just right. We solved this problem by telling him that he had to wear a tux to the upcoming wedding of our son. He was non too happy about the prospect and grumbled about it every chance he got. At Hirshfelds, the great mens clothing store in North Platte, I convinced the owner to go along with the ruse and create some bogus story about all the new measurements he needed for this tux - the length from naval to knee, the hip points and the buttocks at the broadest. The Mister thought this new information very interesting and couldn't figure out why the other boys, who do have to wear tuxes at the wedding hadn't had these special measurements made.
He was somewhat taken aback by the prospect of suddenly wearing a skirt, so it was fortunate that Marc was around to give him pointers and encouragement. I'm not sure about the whole authenticity thing that calls for going commando under the folds of the wool. My opinion is that it would be safer to actually wear something under the kilt, even if it won't pass muster with true Scotsmen.
As you can see, a man in a kilt does impress the ladies, and here he earns his first dollar down his waistband.
Now it was time for the highlight of the evening, the roast. The Mister has a lot to get roasted about, and the kids pulled no punches in pointing out his eccentricities.
They all focused on his propensity to want to do everything himself because he can do a better job, and the fact that he always has to have something to do.
Even our absentee son-in-law was able to get into the action, with a letter that the Mister read himself (because he knew he could do this whole roast thing better himself!)
One of our "adopted" daughters, who has only been in the family a few years has already picked up on some of the more obvious quirks and added a few anecdotes.
And a long-time friend, who makes frequent appearances in this blog shared some stories from the long past.
And just like that, the long-anticipated evening came to a close. It was a wonderful time, and I'm looking forward to the next bit of fun with all of our friends.

Thanks for stopping by. The coffee is always on.

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