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(A lovely little spinet that I got to know this weekend)

The acoustic trio was back out on the road this weekend, playing a short run of shows that included stops in Chicagoland and just west of Ann Arbor. It’s been exciting and strange to be out on the road again, and while I have enjoyed, and will continue to enjoy, live-streaming, seeing and performing for folks in three dimensions again and watching the corners of their eyes tugged into smiles above their masks has been tremendously satisfying and nourishing.

In the time I refer to as B.C., I had no qualms about asking friends and fans about sleeping in spare bedrooms, on couches, sometimes on floors. It’s part of the touring experience – one of the many perks, in fact. This time around, I was feeling rather sheepish about reaching out and asking for what really amounts to a huge favor. We are still living through a pandemic, after all, and maybe folks would rather not be asked if three musicians can stay in their home, and not have to say ‘NO’ to someone that they would otherwise say ‘YES’ to, because they are feeling understandably uncomfortable. Hell, *I* felt uncomfortable, too! What extraordinary times we are living in.

I did put out a couple of feelers, and so did my Chicagoland buddy Joe Jencks (thank you Joe!), and much to my delight, he reconnected me with someone I already know who has an apartment right in the city. She was going to be out of town anyway, and why yes, we could stay there. Holy moly! An apartment all to ourselves in one of my favorite cities, quiet and clean and comfortable, and I even got to play some rags on her spinet on Saturday afternoon. What a gift.

We performed on Sunday afternoon in Hudson, Michigan, and I’d alerted some friends in Ann Arbor ahead of time, one of whom said she would be out of town, and that we were welcome to stay in her home afterwards… which is precisely what Shawn and I did last night. While Davy headed back towards Erie to be with family, we relaxed our travel-weary bones in the peaceful quiet of my friend’s empty house, surrounded once again by evidence of a full and well-lived life – and by love and support, filling our hearts to the brim.

This morning, the early morning light coming through the backyard oaks is especially clear and sweet, and all I can think is, I am a lucky so-and-so.