Denver, CO – “No Ground” -The Tuft Theater at Swallow Hill & The Fox- April 10, 1999

I like to play alone sometimes. It feels sort of like freefalling out of a plane; exhilarating and raw. Chögyam Trungpa once said “The bad news is you’re falling through the air, nothing to hang on to, no parachute. The good news is, there’s no ground.” 

But the truth is, I AM scared. I’m scared to own my own success least someone come along and move into or claim it as their own. Sometimes I hope I won’t ever attain it so that I’ll never have it to lose.

I played this one solo, opening for bluegrass-badass Peter Ostroushko before a packed house of one hundred and fifty. “An intimate evening” read the billing. I plunked down into one of the red theater seats and pretended to read a flier while Mr. Ostroushko finished checking his violin.

Kipp drove us down to Denver from Boulder after I’d sound check with “The Samples” at The Fox. There’d been a blackout due to a heavy wind storm the night before and soundcheck was a mostly acoustic event. Sean, “The Samples” lead singer had called me earlier in the day to ask if I’d play a song with them that night. Secretly I suspected his invitation was a ploy to get into my pants. But a gig’s a gig and if women musicians know anything it’s how to play Roadrunner to Wile E Coyotes.

The plan was to play my set in Denver, pack up, and drive back to Boulder (approx. 1hr) to play my one song with “The Samples” and boogie before any funny business arose.

While I took the stage in Denver to check my guitar, Kipp went out to find food. He came back with some delicious flan and an iced tea and we sojourned to the red-carpeted fortress upstairs. There, we sprawled on the floor stretching newly laced guitar strings, drinking soda, and watching the ceiling expand, our heads propped against my empty guitar case.

Peter’s audience was charming. Each eye I met in the crowd was like a little spark from a campfire. The wide-eyed wonder of a five-year-old delighted me from stage left. He seemed captivated by my tunes as if they were fireflies. Out of the corner of my eye, I’d watch him sneak up on one of my songs, capture it, and spy on it between his fingers before releasing it gently into the air. Laughter danced between chords as the tales behind my songs tumbled out. Stage banter is an art in itself. I learned that from my dad, a master of the spaces between the music.