Strezlecki String Buster for a day
Received a call from John Werner through the week to ask if I could help out with a Strezlecki String Busters (SSB's )this Sunday. The SSB's are a large group of around twelve individuals who perform together for the fun of it. Just the sheer presence of numbers on stage make them a force to reckon with.
As with most groups there is a core and the rest join in. This weekend the core was unavailable, requiring a rethink on how to get together enough songs from the remaining members.
I went along to their rehearsal Thursday night and had a great time. I offered my skill as an Acoustic Lap Steel (Dobro) player and vocalist.
Sunday threw me a little in terms of timing. Day Light Savings finished and I moved my watch the wrong way. In a way that was good as there was no way known I was going to be late after that mistake.
The function was being held at the Traralgon South Cricket Ground and there were heaps of people to take in the stalls, horse rides, music, etc that was provided. The committee must have been thanking their lucky stars as the rain of the previous two days completely disappeared, leaving a bit of wind to contend with. The SSB's had put together three garden canopies lashed together to keep the sun at bay, however they were great wind catchers. At times we had to stop playing (we kept singing) to hold down the structure from flying away.
The first set was a Coal Country Creekers set, followed by the SSB's. We managed to put together three hours of music to everyone's satisfaction.
For the first time I tried performing standing up. The skills here should not be underestimated. Sitting down gives you much better control of the instrument. I was a bit like a ship at sea with nothing to anchor the instrument. Trying to make sure that the microphone facing down was directly over the cone and trying to sing in a microphone with the words of the song flapping in the breeze was something akin to patting your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time. Just too hard. Dropping the singing component made the mission much easier. Jerry Douglas does the standing up trick, but, he doesn't sing. I know why now!
I had a good time this afternoon. Good sharing the stage (grass!) with a heap of other people and no bad moods.
I'd taken along my solo gear, but it wasn't required.
P.S. As with all days where you are fighting the elements, the wind completely stopped as we packed up!
P.S.S. Attended a VMAC session at Century Inn last night and as things happen I met a gentleman who was part of the organising committee for the above event. He wanted me to know that the SSB's did a great job, just what they wanted, and even wanted to engage the SSB's for another gig next year.