I've been here in my new digs (temporarily) since Sunday but don't yet have internet service, so I'm writing blog posts in rtf. docs and saving them for when the cable guy/gal comes to hook me up to the web, the TV, and the phone system.
My bandmates gave me quite a send-off party last Saturday night; lots of music and food and drinkables, but the best part was the wonderful company. I'm really going to miss singing with this group of folks. Not just the band but all the musicians who have been my primary social group while I've been living on the island.
I moved here in March of 2006 and found out about an acoustic jam group that met weekly on Thursday nights at a local cafe. I attended off and on but didn't really get attached until we began meeting in a place more conducive to group singing. It was then that I made connections; my voice and ability to harmonize accurately and hold a true pitch made me a welcome addition to a fairly motley crew which mainly dinked around on instruments and did little actual singing.
Before long, a few of us realized that we had a nice sound and when our jam group was invited to sing a few songs for a local charity, five of us worked up a few songs and sallied forth. We did mostly benefits in return for free food, but gradually we got a few paying gigs here and there.
Now we have had enough paying gigs that we actually have a bank account and an LLC. The band is trying to decide how to replace me and they haven't made any decisions. They say I'm irreplaceable and have even said embarrassing things like "Kit has the best set of pipes on the island". That's nice to hear, but it isn't anywhere near true. I do have a good singing voice and I have learned to stay on pitch, but I lack the vocal virtuosity that a jazz or pop singer would have. I just sing things straight with very few embellishments or improvisations. I do like to use facial expressions and hand movements to spice things up, and I can because I don't have to hold an instrument.
I would like them to find another singer who can play an instrument like the banjo or dobro, which we don't currently have. Then they could really do the bluegrass which they love. I think they would be fine without me.
I'll be heading back to Whidbey tomorrow morning for three more days, topped off with our final gig together as a band. Bayview Sound (that's us) will be opening for the Meerkerk Bluegrass Festival at noon on Saturday the 25th. I'll probably hang around long enough to hear the other bands and schmooze with other attendees, maybe check out the Meerkerk grounds---it's a beautiful rhododendron garden and nursery, beautiful all year round. They put on a summertime show and we've opened the show for them before. It's the reason I've stayed all summer on Whidbey.
But after the gig, I'm free to go. The plan is to get the car packed after the show and Sunday morning head south with the cats. I hope they're good travelers, but I fear that Lily will not be. She has been no farther than from Vashon Island to Seattle and then from Seattle to Whidbey, years ago. Oh well, toots, you're a North Coast cat now!
Lots of things got done today----new TV bought and cable/internet/phone installed, new laundry appliances, more unpacking and squaring away. Even the guest room is set up for guests.
When I return on Sunday, it will feel like a true home.