Monday, August 24, 2009


Back during the summer, Joe got the idea to help his mom's church by having a coffeehouse in the church's fellowship hall. He talked to the pastor, got the musicians lined up, got the equipment lined up, and got Dez and I on board. I was somewhat reluctant at first -- I'd been fired from my previous singing gig a couple of months before because our church said they needed to "go in a different direction" that no longer included back-up singers and that felt particularly horrendously hideously painful and pretty much stole the joy from singing for me for a few months. If I wasn't good enough for a volunteer position singing at church, how on earth could I be good enough to not only sing, but play keys and sing at the same time, ten to fifteen songs every other week? But Joe apparently had confidence in us and even let Dez pick the male lead vocalist, Andy. She found him on Craigslist, but that's a different blog post. He's great -- here's a picture:

Andy's the one on the left with the guitar. Flamingo Joe's back there on congas and that's Glen singing with Andy.

So every two weeks for the past six weeks we've had a coffeehouse at Joe's mom's church -- that means we've had 3 (in case you were too tired to do the math). We do three sets of music, with a short devotional between sets 2 and 3. It's great. People actually show up! Here's a shot of some of the full group:

That picture was taken at the second coffeehouse before Joe figured out how to put the lyrics up on the wall without the big white box (now only white words and nothing else shows up on the wall -- very cool when the projector's not crooked). Hannah and Jeffrey sang with us at that coffeehouse (that's Dez between them). You can't see Georgie on bass and I don't think we had an electric that night. I'm on keys over there on the right. Note that I am not actually playing and there's a good reason for that. I took seven years of piano lessons when I was a girl and another semester in college -- and of course it was all classical music -- you know, where the goal is to actually play every note. But I had never played to accompany anyone, so when Joe told me I needed to play keys, I told him I didn't know how and he looked at me kind of goofy before he said, "Here, I'll show you." Joe doesn't play the piano. So he pulled out a book called "YOU CAN PLAY THE PIANO" or something like that -- I'm sure Joe will correct me in the comments with the actual name of the book. I thumbed through it and realized that if I could play the chords I might could wing it, which is what Joe had been telling me all along and of course I didn't believe him until he showed it to me in a book (that pretty much summarizes our marriage). So I do okay on keys. Barely. When I can't keep up, I stop playing and start clapping in time to the music and grin like crazy as if I'm caught up in the energy of the moment. Cause seriously, you may know how to play F#sus4 every time you see it, but sometimes it slips up on me unaware.

So with this coffeehouse thing, the whole family (including Dez, who is clearly family now) is in on the planning and execution. Joe lines up the musicians and gets set lists and charts out, and is in charge of setting up and tearing down. Dez and I handle the marketing and decide which music to do, with Andy's help. Grandma bakes the cookies and brownies and gets the coffee ready. And the kids provide comedic relief:

Dude. We are soooo Partridge Family.

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