A Work of Art
PHC staffer Ella Schovanec is on the Radio Romance Tour with Garrison, Fred Newman, Aoife O'Donovan, Sara Watkins, and The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band and will update us periodically from the road.
On Wednesday, we did the show from the lawn of the Shelburne Museum, a must-see stop if you're in Vermont. It's a beautiful sprawling estate with over 150,000 works of art, and a carousel you can ride on, and a train, and a 220-foot steamboat.
The museum is essentially the brainchild of this one woman, Electra Havemeyer Webb, who married an heir of the Vanderbilt fortune and amassed this giant collection of folk art — elaborate weather vanes, duck decoys, stuffed Alaskan brown bears, carriages, quilts, famous paintings, antique toys, circus posters. And she relocated dozens of historic buildings from New England to house it all in.
Shelburne is also near Lake Champlain and "Champ" is the supposed lake monster that lives deep in the lake, a relative of a plesiosaur with four flippers and a long neck. And he's a carnivore. During the show, the audience went wild for Fred Newman's "Champ" sound effects.
Another hit was Sara Watkins' and Richard Kriehn's twin fiddle medley, which Garrison sets up so well. In one corner, the girl from California in the long dress and high heels. And in the other corner, the man from Minnesota in the floral Hawaiian shirt. They start out real slow and then Gary Raynor comes in on bass and then Peter Johnson on drums, then the speed picks up and the whole Shoe Band comes in and soon it's bow-flying, foot-stomping riot. I only hope they'll do it again in Canandaigua where we're headed next. Onward.