There we sat,
At the Cat,
A keyboard restin’
In a lap,
A finger tap,
Matt, Grace, and I are sitting in The Smelly Cat coffee shop in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina eagerly awaiting the arrival of our poor, appendicitis-surviving Jen. Though she’s still in recovery mode, she’s feeling much improved and will be joining us for the remainder of our trip up the coast, which we're all very excited about! For the time being, we're all tucked into our respective nooks made of colorful antique doors and chairs of black leather and mustard-yellow fabric, and grateful for a bit of time to regroup before piling into the car and heading to Asheville.
We've already had a variety of musical experiences, and have even won ourselves a few awards over the course of our travels here in the Southeast. We're almost authentic--just need a bit more of this southern culture to rub off on us. Our time began with Daniel and Leah’s wedding. We were elated for the opportunity to make music collectively again, and more significantly, to be a part of Daniel and Leah’s big day. The wedding was in a small red-brick Catholic church set in the heart of little Cedartown, Georgia. The reception was the following day in a stately old courthouse in Decatur, Georgia, which is in east Atlanta. We ladies couldn’t stop commenting on how beautiful and tasteful the whole thing was--everything
Southern weddin' funnin'
from the wedding gown to the centerpieces (antique books and white bouquets) to the father-daughter dance. Most of all, we were incredibly moved by how very happy and in love the two of them are. We played a few hymns in the ceremony, which was a traditional Catholic mass, busted out a few Hermit Tree oldies during the reception, and got the dance party started with a riveting, three-part acapella rendition of “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus. Then, in typical Hermit Tree/Run Boy Run fashion, we danced the night away.
Mr. Fiddler of the Festival
Following the wedding, we headed out to Savannah for a two-day camping trip and fell in love with the city. There was so much to see and do--morning jogs through Savannah marshes, a day on the beaches of Tybee island, dinner overlooking the lively river district, and a night of exploring downtown Savannah. We then headed to Charleston, SC where we visited an old friend and partook of South Carolina’s famous “low-country” cuisine. Our love of Southern cuisine is another indication that we're slowly evolving into authentic southerners--we've all readily adopted the habit of eating grits, specifically shrimp and grits (oh so delicious!) for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. After a night in Charleston, we drove north to the Fiddler's Grove Festival in Union Grove, NC, where Matt won the esteemed Fiddler of the Festival award and the two of us received a blue ribbon in the twin-fiddling competition. Grace pulled out her cello, presumably the only one at the entire festival, and seduced the neighbors with a haunting and melancholy celtic tune “The Crested Hen,” which, in spite of its ill-befitting name, we hope to make an RBR regular. We also had the opportunity to connect with some other really fantastic old-time musicians.
We Run Boy Runners like to think of ourselves as spontaneous, particularly in the way of music. We’ve sung on the subways of Atlanta in three-part harmony, written tunes while strolling down the streets of Savannah, and traveled off the beaten path to tap our feet a bit to the old time rhythm and music of a contra dance in the Blue Ridge Mountains. We take in the music around us, and pour as much out as we take in. A really special aspect of traveling through this region of the country is that there is so much to absorb--the diversity of natural and city landscapes, the sounds of old-time music, the people and cuisine of the American Southeast. We have been continually awestruck and inspired by the things that we’ve seen, which I suppose explains our being particularly driven toward musical spontaneity on this trip. Every experience is so rich, memorable, and song-worthy that we can’t help but be compelled to make music about it. We will inevitably return to Arizona with a few new, travel-inspired tunes in our suitcases, composed while passing through a crowded subway, winding through the Appalachians, or sailing the waves of the Atlantic.