Last weekend we held a house concert in our home for an English musician from Scarborough in North Yorkshire.
His name is Chris Stern, and we met him about 10 years ago when he came to a guitar gathering we attended in Whimberley, Texas, and the three of us became instant friends. We were at a chili supper later in the weekend, and Ken Johnson suggested I write a Reflections column about Chris, so here goes!
Following our first meeting, Chris came and gave house concerts in our home on several occasions. He sang at the Crazy Water Festival twice, and once he sang at a friend’s home on Lake Granbury.
We advertised his appearance in the Index, but we had a small turnout. However, we all liked it better that way, as we were able to listen to Chris’ music and stories, to discuss the differences between English English and American English, and we had time for the musicians present to share, as well.
Next year, the last weekend in October, we plan to do it again. We are going to use a song circle format with Chris singing a set followed by a couple of songs from each of the musicians present, and then Chris singing another set. It should be a lot of fun.
For those of you who have never been to a house concert, we simply ask for donations to help the musician pay for his expenses. We also ask everyone who is attending to bring their tipple of choice, be it soft or hard, and a covered dish of some sort so that we can share a meal as well as music.
Chris has been entertaining audiences for over 30 years. He has performed in Japan, Australia and several countries in Europe, as well as the United State, where, for a short while, he owned a sandwich shop.