Photo by Ken Sears
Two hundred twenty four days is a long, long time to go without live music. I'm the type of person that starts getting antsy if I go a full month without seeing a band play live, so the last seven months has been hard (obviously for a variety of reasons). Sure, live music has started to return, but drive-in shows don't really appeal to me aside from the novelty and outdoor patio shows with everyone eating while seated at tables doesn't feel safe to me. But an artist playing outside in a public park where it's very easy to socially distance? Perfection.
Ruby Mack played this past Wednesday at the Great Falls Farmer's Market in Turners Falls, MA. A farmer's market might not be the hippest place to play, but it worked for these four artists. (They mentioned that their name comes in part from Macintosh apples, so...) It was just the four members of Ruby Mack playing unamplified under a tree on a late October evening with the weather in the upper 60's. It ended up being a perfect night to ease everyone back into seeing live music.
You could tell how special getting back to playing was for Ruby Mack. I've never seen anyone look so thrilled to be playing in front of two to three dozen people next to vendors selling honey and apples, and the feeling was mutual for the audience. Free performances in public parks can always be a rough venue for any performer, but aside from the people there primarily for the produce and people that wandered by on a walk, the audience was incredibly receptive and rapt to the performance. Ruby Mack's music was perfectly suited for the occasion. Playing a mixture of originals and traditional covers, the focus was completely on vocals and harmonizing, along with some fantastic fiddle work.
Unfortunately, as Fall turns into Winter we're going to be losing outdoor performances here in New England. Luckily I was able to experience a beautiful forty five minutes from Ruby Mack before we all go into hibernation for the next five months.