Friday, August 31, 2007

The Company We Keep

It's still a few weeks until the four of us (Pat, Patrice, Erik and me) get together for our first dance of the new season in Northfield. But when we aren't playing as Contratopia we each get to keep some pretty good company.

Down in Iowa Erik and I get to spend time with some mighty fine local musicians. In particular we play with our buddies Jim Skurdall and Jody Koenig as Bear Creek Bluegrass and with our local contra dance group the Western Home String Band.

Last Saturday we played with Western Home for a dance that was held as part of the new student orientation at Luther College. Bill Deutsch did a great job of calling this slightly chaotic event held in a nearly dark parking lot where several hundred energetic young students are mixing while eating free pizza. Campus pastor Mike Blair on guitar, professor David Ranum on English concertina (a Stagi Hayden Duet no less!) and student Ehler Orngard (of Ames' excellent Barn Owl Band) on fiddle and whistles joined Erik and me in supplying the tunes. On Saturday Sept. 15 most of us will drive out to the Highlandville schoolhouse for the first official Decorah contra dance of the season.

Tomorrow Erik and I are playing a wedding reception with Bear Creek (with Bill Musser substituting for Jody on bass) here in town. On Sept. 29 Bear Creek will be playing a barn dance for the Oneota Community Co-op, probably our last gig of our summer season.

Up in Minnesota Pat and Patrice are keeping fine company as well. I'm not sure exactly who is joining Pat in the Testostertunes (Testosterunes?) these days but it looks like they played last Sat. at the Tapestry Folkdance Center.

Pat, Patrice and our good friend, fiddler Ken Steffenson will be playing at a street dance somewhere in St. Paul on Thursday Sept. 20. And on the 29th Pat, Patrice and Ken will be joined by Ken's Danebodium bandmate Dan Leussler to play for the Harvest Festival held during Homecoming at St. Olaf College.

Going along with this theme I have posted an old home recording of a tune I titled "The Company You Keep" over on my So Many Tunes blogsite. Here's the link to the mp3 version of the tune:

The Company You Keep (mp3)