2009 USA Tour : March 29th, Sunday Concert in Sauk City WI

Awaking In Smokey Hollow

I awoke early to morning Wisconsin Sun and about 2 to 3 feet of snow around our camper. No photos yet, I thought, but the snow was melting quickly. After a pondering while I was winterly dressed and photo session and campsite exploration began.

Its amazing what’s here. I have never seen such a variety of accommodation in one place. On the upper scale are cottages and apartments then down to log cabins of different sizes and residential mobile homes. Then a novelty collection of rentable yurts and beautiful authentic canvas covered wagons like used by the pioneers but with some additions to make them weathertight and waterproof, along with hitching rope and lifesize lifelike horse statues. The amenities are very imaginative with a novel mobile little theatre, a swimming pool made to look like a lake with a beach, surreal picnic spots, games rooms, function rooms, business centre, and a very well stocked general store.

Unfortunately, so far, wifi seems to be off, business centre is closed and so is laundry, but its so beautiful here, we are not too bothered by this.

Marita and Bob called, as I was exploring to announce they were five minutes away, inviting to collect Claire’s wireless mic to hand to the audio lighting man for the concert later and to have a visit. Claire was still resting so we had a bit of a ceili meeting near the general store. They were full of joyful news about the folks coming along this afternoon. Sounds like a grand final concert of this tour coming up.

Arrangements were made and I was back to blogging and then some advance packing ready for our release of RV and harp in Illinois tomorrow. Hard to believe that we will be flying back to Ireland in two days.

Off To Sauk City and Final Concert Of Tour

This church, A Unitarian Fellowship church is a remarkable building with a warming origin and history of the first German community congregation that founded it. How I failed to take photos of this remarkable building, I do not know, but that often happens when I am awed by something, one reason why I still do not have the best shots of Claire yet.

Inside and out this church is a delight, a traditional period wooden building with lots and lots of space and light along with lovely audio.

About 70 people here including most of the a group that we guided last May, the wonderful Sound Accord group that have since become quite a loving community of their own. Also the lovely Shroeder girls were there, a family group we enjoyed guiding around and sharing Ireland with.

This also turned into a delightful variety show, Bob Kelter opened with a lovely talk, Claire opened and I burst in the the folk drama show of X Marks the Spot. Judy Skog finished this set with a very fitting and appropriate meditation.

Local family band Wrannock were stunning, stunning, stunning! Here is a trio of superb multi-instrumentalists and outstanding voices sharing surreal harmonies. It must be this region of USA. If anyone has seen Marty and Brian of Fitzgerald of Switchback, you’ll understand what I mean. Wrannock leaned on Scottish songs, music and style more than Irish which I found delightful. I loved their interpretation of Twa Corbies. They are amongst the best I have seen do either music due to their freshness, arrangements and freedom of expression, so, so alive!

Marita Kelter also shared a couple of songs on piano and you would think you are in the presence of a world superstar due to her presence, remarkable songbird and soul voice, beautifully arranged and worded songs, total originality and overall dynamic charisma.

I must also mention the remarkable Melanie and her family. Melanie is a local harpist who loaned Claire her Irish harp to play in addition to the concert harp that Claire has been travelling with. Her father, who was at the show, made the harp too and this day was her mother’s birthday.

Melanie is also a labyrinth builder and she showed me a photo of her own labyrinth garden, so, so much like our own even with the same alignments. She shared a photo taken November 6th, sun rising in the same spot as it does on our labyrinth. Melanie also excitedly told me some wonderful healing stories from there too.

This is one of the most outstanding evenings of songs, music and words I have every experienced, including Claire in top form.

Due to the variety and quality of other performers Claire’s set was shorter than at other venues, yet still very pleasing and so, so angelic

Sitting In A Green Field


Fields Of Fasseroe

Brigit’s Song

Brian Boru’s March

Suil A Ruin

Ard Ti Cruin

Robin’s Jaunt

Isle of Inishfree (Quiet Man song)

Medley of O’Carolan tunes

Star of The County Down

He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven

Cockles And Mussels

Danny Boy  

After The Show

The Sound Accord Group flowed into the church basement to join together for a pot-luck supper meal re-union where we were also joined by the wonderful Wrannock musicians and singers. What a feast!  What fun!  For us a wonderful way to close this remarkable tour too.

The dedicated team work at this event humbled me with every member of the Sound Accord group taking on a duty to put this day together as a whole such as Bob on sound and light, Gabrielle on decor arrangements, Jeanine sorting out and arranging the pot luck food event and photo gathering, collection and arrangement, Marita joining it all together and I know I missed some names such as those who put the set break reception together, Mary and Jim Dix were among those co-ordinating folks I believe.

After the fun and celebrations Bob Kelter took me and the RV to the fire station he works with where we gave the RV a good sudding and hose down ready for its return to owners the next day.

Finally we returned to the Kelter home and walked their labyrinth garden and had a guided tour of their healing prayer room and music room. I hope that next time the music pleasures also include Bob and his band.

Then it was over, a return to Smokey Hollow for a good sleep before early rise for a lot of hand back action around Chicago the next day.



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