Band of the Year!

Well, there’s finally a little breathing space to catch up on the news. We’ve had a couple of very busy weekends– we played in 4 cities one weekend, and then three in one day this past weekend.

On November 2nd, we drove over to Jacksonville so that we could play the following morning at the Riverside Arts Market. It was a delightful morning by the St. Johns River, a little cool in the shade of the bridge but bright and sunny. The Riverside Arts Market is located in a park created under the approach to a freeway bridge, with a stage at one end facing the terraced amphitheater. We were the featured act, so we had the chance to play two sets for a great crowd, including a “mosh pit” of toddlers and tots.

The biggest excitement of the morning was when we realized that we were short a fiddle bow. Sara made a world record-breaking run to a local music store, reportedly 20 minutes away. Somehow she managed miraculously to make the trip there and back in 30 minutes or less, dashing back to the stage just in time to start our set.

After we finished at the market, we headed out for Deland and the 12th annual Deland Original Music Festival. This is an amazing event– literally hundreds of musical acts, representing every genre, in venues all over town, all day long. We were scheduled to do our set at 8:00pm at (of all places) “The Nest.” (We just can’t get away from the bird themes.)

The stage was running behind and it was closer to 10:00 by the time we finally got to play. In the mean time, we got the word that we had won the Songwriters Showcase of America “Band of the Year” award! There was even a trophy involved– our second, since we won “Song of the Year” last year at the same festival.

At the end of our set, Mark from Cafe DaVinci brought us beers and we went across the street to visit with him, as well as Dan and Michele behind the bar. They remembered us from our show there on St. Paddy’s Day last year, and we look forward to playing there again some time. Over the past year, they have worked to turn Cafe DaVinci into a truly delightful venue, with a beautiful stage and a new bar in the courtyard.

We were so late getting out of Deland on Saturday (thanks to the late start on our stage and Mark’s hospitality afterwards) that some of us didn’t make it back to Sarasota that night. We looked for a hotel nearby and ended up in the very same hotel in Sanford where we stayed last year. From the smell, at least we could be certain that there probably weren’t any bugs still living in our room. Pretty scary, but it seemed a better choice than trying to make the three hour drive home in our bleary-eyed condition. We were deeply thankful that Daylight Savings Time meant that this was the night to “fall back,” which gave us an extra hour before we had to grab our coffee and Denny’s and get back on the road.

Sunday morning, the Passerine crew converged again on St. Petersburg for a 2 hour show at Eckerd College. We arrived a little worse for wear, but we were soon revived by coffee, food and the fun of playing music for an appreciative audience of Eckerd students.

Then it was back to Sarasota for the Chalk Fest. We were really proud to be part of this extraordinary event: chalk art on the streets, circus performers, and a line-up of great local music at the “Chalk Chill Lounge.” Just before our set, we watched Nik Wallenda and his wife perform a series of harrowing acrobatic feats at the top of swaying poles that were probably 5 or 6 stories high. It was dark before we took the stage, but we knew that we had a lot of friends there in the audience. It’s always great to return home after doing a number of shows on the road. Although it was our fourth gig of the weekend, we played just under two hours without a break, enjoying the great sound provided by Greg, Casey and Marty, our friends from Mojoe Productions.

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