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Love at first sight. Yeah, right! The closest I ever got was when I visited a new dentist some time
ago. I was instantly smitten by the Hygienist who cleaned my teeth for a wonderful 30 minutes. She
was friendly, funny, obviously smart, and oh-so pretty. After paying my bill and leaving the building I
remember making a mental note to eat a package of Oreo cookies just before my next cleaning so
that we could enjoy more time together.

Still, I am the first to admit that there are game changing encounters, interactions that unexpectedly
send you down a different path than you thought led to your destiny.
I’m sixteen years old, spending most of my time practicing guitar licks that I’ve learned off Jefferson
Airplane albums, listening to Jim Morrison and the Doors, singing along with the Zombies latest hit
on the radio. Then one afternoon after school my new friend Bruce asks me to listen to his latest
record purchases. Beatles? Stones? Not quite. He pulls an album out of its sleeve and carefully
places it on the turntable. A woman with a wondrous voice (by the name of Judy Collins) and
accompanied by a fascinating acoustic guitar sings “Suzanne” written by a fellow named Leonard
Cohen. I must have made him play this song a half-dozen times before he insisted on playing
another new record by some guy named Bob Dylan (quirky voice, but just maybe he could develop a
fan base someday and sell a few records). Something shifted in my core that day. I didn’t abandon
my other music idols, but I knew I had experienced something special and had many new places to
visit.

As we get older it’s harder and harder to be that impressed by new and unexpected encounters of
this kind. The scrap book pages have been filling up, even though such surprises rarely ask
permission to join the ranks as one of your favorite bookmarks. It’s not the same as simply being
impressed with a new musical act. Something rings a chime inside your head that’s reserved for
special occurrences. I had one of those occasions about five years ago at one of my favorite
coffeehouse venues operated by a rural church. A husband and wife duo from England somehow
caught the attention of my friend who booked the music for this place. They called themselves The
Black Feathers. Simple, direct, seamless – but there was also a special quality about their voices,
their harmonies, the synchrony of their breathing, and their original songs that resonated
impressively. I’ve had their name on this mental list I’ve kept over the years ever since, and their star
has risen considerably. And they’ll be at Unity Hall on Saturday, the 17 th of this month.
The opening act for the night will be none other than Nook n’ Crannie, a.k.a. Ann Carey and me. We
don’t play as often these days, so when we do we use the good china and big serving spoon. Always
a treat to play here!