Because we tour so much, we often miss out on seeing our favorite performers in concert, so imagine my delight when I discovered that one of my very favorite performers was going to be in Chicago at the same time as us. I saw Anne Hills perform at the Champlain Valley Folk Festival when I was finishing up my masters degree at Bread Loaf School of English in Vermont. At one point, she picked up a Tibetan singing bell, made a tone with it, and sang. Witnessing this freed me to begin performing much sooner than I would have otherwise. I had been a trombonist for 13 years and had only recently picked up stringed instruments. I was working on my finger callouses and fretting over the F chord on guitar (still not my favorite). But Anne showed me that what was most important was a stellar song and a true voice. Just those two magic ingredients could transform an audience. So, I jumped in, and here I am.
I am lucky that some of Anne’s fans are Jeni & Billy fans, too, so during the break, they asked if Anne and I would sing a song together. So, on Sunday, I got to sing “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” with my musical mentor which was a dream come true! Thank you, Anne! You continue to inspire me with your kind spirit and your honest music.