Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Thanks for the Memories, CD Baby Store

I realize that this is trivial news compared to what's going on in the real world but I need to spread this news to anyone who stumbles upon our blog. Starting today our old friends at CD Baby have "retired" their online store. They have good reasons for doing this and they will still be partners with us in supplying our CDs and downloads to other vendors (like Amazon). They also take care of making our digital files available for streaming on your favorite streaming services.

If you are in the market for a physical Contratopia CD we still have a few left. Check your local record store or Amazon first and then contact us if necessary. We might find a different approach in the future but, for now, that's your best bet. Of course, when we are able to play for public dances and shows again we will have stuff for sale at those events as well.

Many thanks to the hundreds of people who have purchased one or more of our CDs over the last nearly 20 years!

The photos above were taken by me (JG) from my perch on the Glen Echo/Spanish Ballroom stage on Friday February 28, 2020. Hope to see you again before too long.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Greenfield Dance Postponed

COVID-19 is affecting all of us in some way. Most of the gigging musicians we know are seeing their calendars open up for the next few weeks as a result of event cancellations; part of efforts to slow the progress of the virus. We knew it was coming but we received official word today that Tapestry Folkdance Center is canceling all dances through the end of March and likely through April as well. This includes the annual Greenfield Dance that we were scheduled to play on Saturday, March 23. We are considering this a postponement and hope to be able to reschedule this event later in the year.

We were fortunate to be able to make our annual trip out to the D.C. area to play for dances in the Spanish Ballroom at Glen Echo Park two weeks ago, before things reached the current level of concern. Ted Hodapp, as always, was our caller, booking agent and, with Lynn, host for the trip and we had our usual wonderful time. The crowds were good, the music was excellent and we enjoyed a Saturday night concert/dance at Ballroom Blum in Adelphi, MD as well. Shaun the Sheep once again served as our spirit guide for the weekend.

The Ballroom Blum concert and Sunday's Waltz Time dance were especially notable for the inclusion of, not one but two, vocal numbers. I believe the first time in Contratopia history that two vocals turned up during a gig. Pat treated audiences to a taste of the real Minnesota with his delightful rendition of the "The Lefse Song" and the band indulged John's teenage nostalgia by supporting (with gusto) his version of Chuck Berry's "Roll Over Beethoven", including driving rock'n'roll piano playing from Patrice and enthusiastic backup vocals from the whole band.

Here's a photo of Pat's banjo and John's mandolin at rest before their busy weekend:

While we won't be playing any dances in the near future we are looking forward to celebrating the demise of COVID-19 as soon as things clear up. In the meantime, if you have the chance while you are dealing with your own virus-related challenges, offer some encouragement and support to your local artists and arts organizations who are struggling with difficult challenges. We hope to see you at a dance or a concert down the road!