Ubercool hunger activist singer songwriters with famous parental pedigrees like Jen Chapin (yes, of that Chapin) and her ilk often swing through Asheville on their musical tours. Hey, it’s a happening little town. What they don’t often do is go straight from their plane out to the projects to perform a “warm up” set for a bunch of underprivileged kids.
But, surreal as it may be, yesterday afternoon (Monday) our kids and the kids from the other afterschool in the development were treated to an intimate little set of cool, bluesy-folk music from Ms Chapin and friends – and they had a ball! (So did I, as it happens – I love this sort of stuff).
I must say, the whole thing rather caught me by surprise. I mean, it just doesn’t happen all that often for one thing, and when it does it’s more often a local musician or the like, not someone of Jen’s renown swooping in with instruments in tow to perform for a few rows of wide-eyed inner city kids who aren’t quite sure what’s happening, but know they like it.
The band interspersed their songs with questions from the kids, discussions about music, creativity and the instruments they were playing and other interactive bits. After the set, they let the kids come up to poke around on the instruments and play with the wah-wah pedals and so on. (Which was a huge hit, I can tell you that.) And on the way out, the kids got snacks, CDs and T-shirts from the local LEAF folks who seemed to be hovering around the perimeter all afternoon (I’m not sure what their connection was – maybe they set the whole thing up, who knows. Nobody said anything about them to me).
Anyway, tres cool. A real treat for the kids and not a half-bad treat for the grown-ups, too. And Jen’s playing a local brew house here tomorrow. Think I’ll go check it out…