Tonight was the first ever Tin Pan North Gospel Show! Whoo-hoo!
The show was sponsored and supported by the Tin Pan North festival, but most of the organizing fell to Gerald and me. We pulled together volunteers, did some advertising, and secured a great line-up of songwriters.
We gathered at the church around 6:30 with NSAI songwriters Paul Grady and Tom McInerny and headliner Ali Matthews and her guitar player, Rick Francis.
Two of the committee members provided a sound system for us (yay!), but at the last minute, we lost our volunteer sound person (not yay).
So Gerald and Tom started working on the sound system, trying to make it all work, when Rick showed up and announced that he owns a studio and running sound is second nature to him (cue the Hallelujah Chorus!). Rick set the whole thing up, ran our sound check, and then continued to tweak and run sound the entire show, while also playing guitar for Ali. (final chord: Hal-leeeee-luu-jaaaaaaahhhhh!)
The show began, and it was awesome! We had a total of 6 people on stage, and did 4 songs each in a Nashville round style. Paul's songs were calming and folky, and Tom's songs had a dramatic twist. He also made use of the church's grand piano, adding another cool element to the show.
Gerald did a wide range of songs, including his 9-11 song "Angels in the Dust" and his original rocking version of "Real Big Fan" (as opposed to my jazzy version.) Most of my songs were written in the past year, like "Living Manna," "Brighter Happy Day," and the brand new song I debuted last night, "I Wanna Make Some Noise."
Ali and Rick were amazing together! Ali has a beautiful voice and gorgeous songs. Rick would add guitar solos, and at one point he used his pedal to loop a guitar riff and play a solo over it. If you've never seen a guitar player do this before, it's very cool and he basically ended up playing a duet with himself.
For the inaugural Gospel Show, I was very pleased with the results. The crowd was very appreciative, the players were great, and the energy in the room was wonderful! Tonight, we're exhausted, but it was so worth the effort.
Mark your calendars for next year!