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Monday, October 10, 2011

What We Did On Our Summer Vacation
or still recounting the last good week of the season (Rhett Fest I)

(Part 2A of 3)

Question: How do you top a perfect week at the beach? With a double shot of your favorite singer/songwriter, of course.

Okay, so I'm going to jump ahead to the end of the week because quite frankly I can't wait to share some videos of guess who.

As much as I enjoy traveling to witness the pure power of an Old 97's concert, I loveloveLOVE Rhett solo season. For those unfamiliar with the routine, when the full band takes a hiatus from touring, the blue-eyed lovely packs his guitar and hits the road alone to entertain his adoring public, i.e. me and a bunch of other crazy chicks. As James Taylor always sang, Daddy loves his work. He also loves to pay his bills.

Lucky for us.

The thing I like best about his solo show, besides the passionate performance, is the intimacy with the audience. When it's just Rhett, a mic and a guitar in a darkened room, we get stories and interaction to go with the music.

iPhone image courtesy of Julie Strehle

It's magical.

Plus Geo, who suffers my obsession, comes along for the solo ride. He might not directly admit it, but he has a very good time. I have proof. I have video with him laughing.

cutest face dimple in rock

Anywho, we made the short jaunt from New Jersey to Wilmington, Delaware for Rhett's show at World Cafe at the Queen.

Opera House with duck face facade

We've never been to Wilmington before. It's a charming little city in a bit of a revitalization with cool old architecture, trendier restaurants and a tavern teeming with microbrews where we met up with our New York friend, Marcy. I was so excited to see her! We had such a great time catching up over cocktails. I have met so many lovely people through this man and his band. Marcy is just one of the few I adore.

The afternoon flew by too quickly. Before we knew it, it was time to part ways until show time. Geo and I set off to a terrific tapas bar (trendy, right?) near the venue to nosh with my dear buddy, Stephanie and her friends. You can read her fabulous retelling of the weekend here. Hmmm... Is it pronounced See-Rah, Shee-Rah or SheeutTheFuckUp? (you have to read her blog to get that)


One of our favorite up and coming bands, The Spring Standards opened the evening. They're a delightful trio of enormously talented musicians fronted by Heather Robb who has one of the clearest, most angelic voices. They've released three CDs and are working on their fourth, obtaining funding from fans via Kickstarter.

Geo and the lovely Heather

And they could not be any sweeter. These three are going places.

"Please stop singing so loudly, yo.
You're hurting my soul."
With his signature glass of whiskey on ice, Rhett took the stage and Steph, Marcy and I took our places in front of the stage, mole side. As always, he gave his all during his 23-song setlist of old standards sprinkled with a handful of more recent tunes, the crowd bellowing along to Barrier Reef, Big Brown Eyes (sung for a little girl named Katie) and Singular Girl.

Katie, being adorable

"I've got issues... YEAH!!"

Then he surprised everyone by singing the rarely performed Nineteen.

The biggest treat of the evening came after the encore break when he introduced a new song, Picture This, from his upcoming solo effort due out next year. As Heather tells on the video, the Spring Standards wrote it when they were 15 and Rhett reworked the second verse.

"I'm tired, but I'm not too tired for you."

That line is destined to make all the girls in the room tear up. And seriously, how beautifully do their voices blend? Thank goodness for videotape. That song is too gorgeous to have to wait until Spring to hear again.
 Another great thing about solo shows is Mr. Miller usually hangs out at the merch table to chat and graciously sign whatever, except boobs. He won't sign boobs. Not that I asked, because I didn't. Pinky swear to Gawd! C'mon! I'm not that far gone. Seriously. Sheesh!

Signing Swag. Schwing!

He did sign some pretty sweet, sweet items for a special little person the details of which I'll share at a later date.

Alas, the evening ended too quickly, but it certainly was a great first night of two to finish off an outstanding week away. On to Annapolis!