Which included an Easter Vigil Mass last night in a beautiful old church in a little old mill town, where the mills are long shutdown, yet the church was packed as we sat in the dark until we lit individual candles one to the next and halfway through the Mass the lights came on, the altar boys and girls rang the bells and the church organ blasted out a hymn sung by the choir up in the loft in back. Brought back memories of my childhood and the theatrical element of my Catholic upbringing.
Followed immediately by a benefit for the Housatonic River which was polluted by a GE plant up in Pittsfield decades ago and is still suffering. The event was held in another old church, this one now a center for mostly folk music and activism, originally the church in Arlo Guthrie's song about "Alice's Restaurant" and now called "The Guthrie Center," full of photos and artifacts from Arlo's life as well as his father Woody's.
The event last night included live music and poetry, and we got there on time to see and hear Bell Engine, the band my older son Miles plays bass in. They are such good musicians and songwriters. I dug every tune they played and the way they played them.
But there was one point where the lead singer and main songwriter John Clarke, and Lisa Anderson, the lead female singer whose voice compliments John's perfectly, began harmonizing on a song that was so familiar and so terrific I thought for a minute it was a John Lennon song but couldn't remember which album it was on, until I realized it's a song my son Miles wrote and I'd only heard him sing while accompanying himself on guitar.
This full on band arrangement came across like a rocking anthem with almost a gospel feel. It touched me deeply and even more so knowing that my oldest boy had created it. I don't think I'm being a proud parent because I can be pretty critical when it comes to the arts I dig. This song, no matter who wrote it, I'd love, and this arrangement would hook me as well no matter what.
And then this morning the sun came out and the weather warmed up and it truly seemed like Spring was finally here at last, as if it had been waiting for Easter morning. By the time we got back to Jersey this afternoon in just the short time we'd been gone most of the trees had sprouted buds and blossoms and leaves and the world where I live looked and looks as lush and colorful as the paradise European settlers thought they were coming to centuries ago.