Sunday, May 4, 2014

Virtual State Fair (05.01.14)

Happy May to you. I've generally enjoyed May, this being my 44th of them. Nice weather, generally mellow vibe. I approve of this month.

My first show of May 2014 was a fun one, in an interesting way. I was hired by the former Molaskey's Pub crew, who were booking the talent to perform at the Virtual State Fair in Second Life. I'd never been to this event before, though apparently it's happened for a number of years. As anyone who reads this blog already knows, I try and tailor my shows to each event. Sometimes I have a specific musical theme of my own, or sometimes the event or venue itself helps dictate what sort of songs I'll be pulling out of my magical bag of tunes. At a State Fair on a stage surrounded by hay bales and guys wearing cowboy hats, the answer was fairly obvious.

Still, it seemed to surprise a good number of my fans when they showed up to find that I was doing a full set of country-oriented music. Am I a big fan of country music? No, and I hold a particular dislike for almost all modern country music (which, by the way, isn't really country at all in most cases). But has country music been influential on me, especially the older "classic" country songwriters and performers? Hell yes. Moreover, those artists influenced the artists who eventually influenced me, so there's a trail there that made it appropriate for me to do a night of country-fried Zak.

Doing some country tunes among the hay bales. Photo and top photo by Kat.

The State Fair was like any state fair you can imagine, perhaps without the selection of weird fried foods. Photo by Kat.

It was fun to throw down the hoedown at the Virtual State Fair. Photo by Kat.

One musical side note: I played a John Denver song for the first time ever in world last night, but that song actually has some long-term history for me. When I first started playing guitar as a wee lad back in 1976, I had a couple of books to learn from. One was a general book of traditional folk tunes, and the other was a "John Denver Made Easy For Guitar" book. So, while I haven't played it often, I've actually been doing his music since I was seven years old. True story.

Virtual State Fair set list...
Man of Constant Sorrow (Traditional)
*Take Me Home, Country Roads (John Denver)
Beyond the Blue (Martina McBride)
Heart of Gold (Neil Young)
Falling Down (Zak Claxton)
Pigs on the Wing - Parts I and II (Pink Floyd)
Wild Horses (Rolling Stones)
The Weight (The Band)
Powerderfinger (Neil Young)
Always Tomorrow (Zak Claxton)
Lost Cause (Beck)
California (Joni Mitchell)

*Indicates the first time I've performed this song in SL.

Many thanks to everyone who came out and saw my get my country on at the Virtual State Fair, especially the following who helped support my show!
Harry Wheeler, NeCole Chiantelle, eXtension Helix, Richy Nervous, eXtension Difference, Extension Scientist, Shannon Oherlihy, MicheleJean, eXtension Peapod, Kat Claxton, DFox Spitteler, borg Sparta, Phylos, Thynka Little, Cicadetta Stillwater, Mia Kitchensink, Aurelie Chenaux, and my manager Maali Beck.

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