Turn off that radio, unplug your TV, pull the battery out of your mobile phone, and take ten minutes to join my family and me in our New Hampshire cabin. This weekend we had as much fun as anyone can have with a grocery bag full of apples and cheese.
Tom’s portrait in driveway chalk – by Anna and Heather
This Month’s Music
Apples and Cheese
© 2010 Tom Smith
I just returned from three wonderful days at our little cabin in the woods of Jaffrey, NH. This was my first visit to the cabin since I closed its doors last October. I was joined by my wife Margo, daughter Mally and niece Meryl. I casually asked Mally and Meryl if they would help me with this month’s production for The Kitchen Musician. Before I knew it, we were singing enthusiastically in front of the wood stove. With help from Margo we turned our supply of apples and cheese into a magical musical chorale to accompany our little production. A little midnight editing and voila, a gift of grins for all of our friends. Like many of you, my life recently has been full of business and busy-ness. What a gift it was to displace some of that with the laughter we shared together.
I wrote Apples and Cheeseafter having returned home from one of my many open mike visits to the Amazing Things Arts Center, hosted by the wonderful Dan Cloutier. I had had no evening meal, and found myself filling a plate with apples and cheese at midnight. It sat pretty well with me, and the song just sort of popped out.
A Phoebe Family
© 2010 Tom Smith
It is spring here in New England and the energy of rebirth is irresistibly visible and audible. May 29th is unusually late for me to wake up our cabin from its long winter nap. As I walked up to the cabin door, my mind was still preoccupied with the busy-ness I left in Boston. I had forgotten that every spring a phoebe family takes over a special spot above the front door bell. I have no idea if this is the same phoebe pair who return to this nest each spring, but I like to imagine that they or their offspring are our familiar yearly guests. The bobbing of their tails and their gentle chirps tell me that it is OK to sit quietly and observe them from a distance, and that the world can be a peaceful and orderly place.
I hope that you too can sit in a quite place to observe nature, or that you can give in to an irresistible silliness.
~ Peace and music,
(I invite you to leave a comment. Just scroll down to the end of this page.)
… and here are the lyrics to this month’s song.
Apples and Cheese
© 2010 Tom Smith, All Rights Reserved
When I was a boy I wasn’t very bright
I didn’t know much but I knew what I liked
When Teacher sang the A B C’s
All I could sing was apples and cheese
Some sing praise for carrots and peas,
But nothin’ in the world can make a man say please
Like a great big plate of apples and cheese
When time came to learn about the birds and the bees,
My father shared his expertise
“Son, there ain’t no guarantees,
Except for the joys of apples and cheese”
Cortlan, Granny Smith, Macintosh and Macoun
Cheddar, Gouda, Brie, Swiss, Provolone
You’ll never find me on a hunger strike
For I never met an apple or a cheese I didn’t like
When I get to heaven let me tell you what I’ll do
I’ll be singin’ in the choir with the angels who
Raise their hands from bended knees
And praise the lord for apples and cheese
Sat., June 5: I am excited to open for the nationally known bluegrass band, The Gibson Brothers Band this coming Saturday evening at the venerable Bull Run Restaurant in Shirley, MA. This is an important musical opportunity for me, and I would love to share the evening with you.
Sat., June 12: at the Gates Elementary School in Acton to celebrate Board-a-palooza.
Sun., June 13: at the Parish Center for the Arts in Westford, MA, “in the round” with friends Chris Pahud, Cheryl Perreault and Steve Rapson.
Sun., June 27: From 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm I will be joining my friends Kate Chadbourne, Pat Kenneally, Bill Kehoe, Linda Abrams, and Robert Phillips as we do a round robin show at the historic Old Manse in Concord, MA.
Looking farther down the road, I am honored to open for the legendary Roy Book Binder at Amazing Things Arts Center in Framingham, MA on Friday, August 13th.
Click to view details and all upcoming shows.
Featured Non-Profit: Michael Lisnow Respite Center
“Entering our 13th year, The Michael Carter Lisnow Respite Center is a place that provides emotional and physical support for individuals with disabilities and their families.” My friend, Dan Cloutier spends his days doing the good work of the center. Donations to the center will help make up for funding shortfalls during challenging financial times. It is simple to donate to the respite center. Better yet, join Dan Cloutier and his very talented musical friends, Ricardo Barazza, Levi Schmidt, Kim Jennings and Noah Fitch at 7:00 pm on Friday, June 11th at the First Congregational Church in Hopkinton for a fundraiser for the respite center. A win-win… you get to hear great music AND help raise money to benefit good works.