Wednesday, December 21, 2016

December 14, 2016
Joni and host Richard Sojourner
Quiet, please. Music is about to begin.
YOU HAVE YOUR RECIPE ... and I have mine! Here is what I would put in my bowl: a heaping helping of annual house concert on a crisp, cold night, mix in lots of friends and family, pour in libations and delicious snacks, add some catchin'-up conversation, then gently stir in the fine musicianship of JONI BISHOP. There, right there, is the recipe for kicking off the perfect holiday season!
Joni finger-picking the guitar
       Joni has been invited to perform at the house concert at RICHARD and MARY SOJOURNER'S home for nine straight years! Nine! That must surely be some kind of a record! Richard and Mary are incredibly generous with their home, their food, and their libations! We hope it continues for many more years to come. Nashville folk artist, songwriter, singer, and instrumentalist, Joni Bishop handles her music with ease. She sings in English and also in Latvian. Her parents and grandparents came to America from Latvia, and Joni sings verses to "Silent Night" in Latvian as well as in English. Her fingers fly across the strings of a guitar, a mountain dulcimer, a cigar box banjo (she makes those), and even a tambura, which is an East Indian instrument that produces a very unusual sound.
Joni on mountain dulcimer
Joni made this dulcimer in a workshop
Joni on the East Indian tambura
       Joni Bishop did two lovely sets of seasonal music, and we will share those songs with you.
       Set One: Little Drummer Boy; Endless Christmas; Buzzed (not what you think--written while in Starbucks and drinking lots of coffee); Soul Cake/God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen (sung in counterpoint with Joni singing Soul Cake and the audience singing God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen); Go Tell It on the Mountain; Children, Go Where I Send Thee; Christmas in the Trenches (by John McCutcheon); The 12 Days of Christmas (with large cue cards to assist the audience); Grandma's Garden; and Wayfaring Stranger. Brief pause for food, drink, and conversation with friends.
Cue card: 12 Days of Christmas
Joni on cigar box banjo
 Set Two: Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland; Stone by Stone; Joy to the World (on the tambura); The Road to Bethlehem; Amazing Grace; We Three Kings; Bring a Torch, Jeanette Isabella; Stone by Stone (requested again); Send Yourself Home for Christmas; Sleighride; Away in a Manger; Christmas in the Trenches (requested again); What Child Is This; It's Gonna Be All Right Someday; Mary Had a Baby, My Lord; We Wish You a Merry Christmas; Silent Night (a verse in Latvian with audience singing in English); and I'll Fly Away.
Samples of Joni's folk art which is for sale
       For albums and information:
Some of our favorite albums are "One Wondrous Star: A Christmas Collection", "Endless Christmas", and "Threads". Other fine albums and folk art are available at Joni Bishop's website.
       Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all who came in to read this blog!

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