I HAVE DECIDED that henceforth I shall, to the best of my ability, write about real things happening to real people. Maybe.
IT’S NOT HARD today because I’m still extremely pumped from two back-to-back shows with the Kruger Brothers — we got to open for them at Peakes Auditorium and Ellsworth HS Performing Arts Center. I still really can’t believe it happened. Say what? You don’t know who the Kruger Brothers are? They’re originally from Switzerland, now from North Carolina, but they’ve only lived in the U.S. for about ten years. Jens Kruger is the best banjo player in the whole world, and I am proudly one of millions who think that.
IT DOESN’T EVEN sound like a banjo when he plays it — it sounds like… like… like ANYTHING he wants it to sound like. It’s just beautiful. He can play rocky and wild one minute and as soft as the trickle of a stream the next. They’re playing Jens’ classical composition Music from the Spring with the Bangor Symphony Orchestra on June 2nd. I have my ticket.
AS IF SHARING a backstage with these guys wasn’t exciting enough, yesterday, when we were packing up after our Ellsworth show, Jens said in his thick accent,
“Rachel, you have your fiddle out?”
I DIDN’T KNOW he even knew my name. I stared as he got his banjo out again and pulled some chairs into a circle. Then I ran and jumped across the stage, slammed open my fiddle case, and pulled it out. Uwe and Joel and the rest of our band gathered around. I’ve jammed with a lot of people. I think there were only three times when I’ve actually enjoyed it. But this was more like a party. No matter how musically adept or inept any of us were, it didn’t matter. It’s just the way they are. It made me grin from ear to ear. The type of grin you can’t stop, no matter how hard you try.