York, PA

‘Tis Autumn. Starting to get cool. What a fun night we had at the Strand/Capital in York, PA. It started in the early afternoon when we arrived from Virginia Beach. We found ourselves in a back alley in Old Town that felt like turn of the 20th century or earlier. On one side was the load-in back side of the venue, and on the other was a door leading to a great old-fashioned Farmer’s Market. It was full of privately operated mom-and-pop stands, from sandwiches to meats and cheeses to painters to coffee to fruits and veggies, and on and on and on. After a quick peek, I was offered a tour by Jason, who has been working for this same great theater since he was a teenager. He showed me and my assistant Patrick the adjoining theater—Adjoining?!? Yes. The theater I was playing was called The Strand. It is the larger performing arts center portion of The Strand/Capital. The Capital is a much smaller venue with its roots in vaudeville. It’s mostly used for short films, often silent films, accompanied by a Wurlitzer, a player piano, or a working organ. Wow. Not many places like this anywhere.

The Strand/Capital is a great old theater that was spared the wrecking ball by some very smart local people. Instead, there had been renovations very recently to add a deeper stage and a balcony. Again like last night, all the seats are good ones here. Padded red cushions and very close to the stage. I could smell their perfume. Again, we did this night with an intermission, but our planning and timing was much more spot-on, with an acoustic moment in the first half as well as the second half, and a second added tune.

Things were cookin’ great from the start. Maybe getting last night’s intermission set under the belt made me and the band more confident, and it surely came off in a much more relaxed and fun manner for us guys as a whole. Again this new Rainbow Ride music continues to be a winner. Earl Klugh’s This Time (my lyric) with John Calderon on acoustic is a huge change of pace winner. We found yet a new approach to Better Than Anything with me and Chris doing the first verse as a duet with just bass and vocals, and real intimate. Tell Me… exploded like it never has before in America. Maybe it was its ideal placement in the set. (It’s always been a big one in Europe.) When we break for intermission, we’re confident of a long and good first half, and the audience is on their feet.

It’s me and Larry out for the start of the second half, dueting Your Song with the band joining in midway through. Moonlighting is working great now. And Fire and Rain gets an audible intake of breath from the audience. And Mark Simmons does a master class seminar on drums during Take Five and gits ‘em crazy. And it’s fantastic when he and I go head to head vocal percussion to start our encores. Fantastic night!

Hello to our new audience in York. Thank you to the promoters and venue staff. Excellent visit, made smooth and easy by everyone’s hard work and preparation. After the show there were three women with birthdays backstage, husbands too, one of them an elementary school teacher, and a guy from Milwaukee. Fewer folks than normal.

Oops! We didn’t realize there were a few people waiting outside the theater for more than an hour for photos and autographs. Hi, guys, sorry for the wait in the cold. We were a little embarrassed. We usually get word when there are people waiting outside the venue. It was great getting to visit before heading out.

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