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Monday, February 28, 2011

Francis Times Two
or a double shot of Mr. Dunnery to round out the b-day fest

Okay, so as I said in the last blog waaaaaay back last week sometime (Jimminy Christmas, I need to update more often. Cobwebs are starting to form on my keyboard not to mention my wee brain matter.), it's uncanny how often we find ourselves able to indulge in a double dose of our favorite performers on the same trip. Case in point, Geo stumbled on a Francis Dunnery house concert in New Jersey the day after our Rhett show in NYC, essentially on our way home.

Going to a Francis house concert feels like a huge, warm bear hug from your favorite relative who is boisterous, charismatic... and likes to swear. A LOT. F**king A! Francis is big on hugging, and by now you all know how much of a hugger I am. LOVE it! Everyone in his inner circle is so welcoming and genuinely happy to see you, you can't help but feel a part of their family.

Geo, Francis and yours truly
just chilling in the kitchen 

We've been to so many shows now that we've seen all five of his themed concerts a multiple of times each. This, however, was the first time the hosts, Butch and Carole and their guests have ever experienced the personal performance laid before them. It's so wonderful to witness a roomful of newbies fall in love with an artist and his work. They laughed, participated in a few sing-alongs and teared up as Francis sang his closer, Good Life. It was lovely to watch them become enchanted by this amazing musician and his life-affirming message. As my ever-loving, Geo always says, spending an evening with Francis' positive energy never fails to make him feel good about himself in particular and life in general.

It's a great gift, that.

We hung out for a while afterwards, chatted and chowed down a bit until it was time for Francis and Tony to hit the road. We walked them out to the van to give him a present for his new baby girl, Elsie who was born on January 10th, as well as a six-pack of his favorite olive bruschetta. This stuff is like crack to him. Seriously. He cannot get enough. We've become his unofficial dealers. HaHa! Standing in the cold night air, we yakked, were invited to his house and got one last bear hug before they drove off.

The following Saturday, our paths crossed again, this time in our hometown in the familiar game room of our friends, Bill and Beth. As we turned onto Bill's road, a van was pulled over to the side. As we drove alongside of the vehicle, I looked in and lo and behold...Francis and Dorie, a lovely English singer with the voice of an angel, were pouring over a map, looking perplexed. We became their motorcade, leading them to the house.

Like any musician, Francis gets extremely pumped when he's working on new projects. He beckoned Geo and I into his van to treat us to a listen of his new works. So here we are, sitting in a van surrounded by baby items, listening to Francis Dunnery singing live to recorded music from his iPhone of his newest songs... for us.


The show was extra special with the addition of Dorie's magnificent, melodious and full-bodied vocals. She has an amazing range. Her relationship with Francis is so comfortable, it lent an extra layer of playfulness to his performance.

You know, if someone would have told us back in 1994 at the Mercury Lounge that one day we'd not only meet Francis Dunnery, but be part of his circle of friends, I would have scoffed at the thought as sheer madness.

Life is full of surprises when you give up and let it go.

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