Thursday, July 16, 2009

Muriel Anderson's House Concert Update

Recently Hill Guitar, along with The Darling House and Waterbird Entertainment sponsored a house concert featuring guitarist Muriel Anderson.

Muriel is a versatile guitarist well known to Santa Cruz audiences. I saw her first here nearly 20 years ago. This time she was coming to town on a mission to help her 99 year old dear friend
Velzo catch up with her expansive garden, and she suggested that while she’s in town she should do a house concert. I agreed to try it out, especially if she could play on my guitars, and she graciously agreed. I hadn’t put on a concert like this before, but it was a good opportunity to try it out.

The Darling House is a 100 year old landmark home and bed and breakfast lovingly owned and operated by Darrel and Karen Darling, perched on the cliffs above the Monterey Bay, at the epicenter of our amazing
Santa Cruz. The setting couldn’t be more beautiful, and the great room of the Darling House is a perfect place for a guitar concert.

Muriel is a natural entertainer. She is a fine classical guitarist, but her taste in music is a completely eclectic romp through styles including Spanish masterpieces, Chet style picking, Japanese music, Brazilian music, a Souza march and several of her own compositions including one that was just days old, untitled, with the audience being solicited for suggestions. We’ll see if any of these suggestions stick.

I loved the way the guitars and the music sounded. I’m playing them every day, so I’m in close contact, but it’s gratifying to hear others really making them sing. It’s sentimental.

Muriel was joined by singer Rebecca Sayre at the end of the first set and beginning of the second, and Darrel Darling read a poem in tribute to his wife and their special life together at this magic place over the past 25 years.

The audience wasn’t a typical classical guitar audience, but rather a mixed group who came to simply enjoy the music and the cool opportunity to be close to the performance and really
experience it personally.

I must recognize Steve Palazzo for the hand he played in getting the word out, not to mention providing the chairs. In the future I hope to bring in more artists who are playing my guitars, and others too. Darrel Darling is a natural big thinker, and he imagines musicians and poets and artists of many types coming through there year round. It’s a grand idea and a fresh reminder that for some of us anyway, the music is what it’s all about, and this is where it’s best, right in the middle of our lives.


Rob Kitely said...

Hi Kenny,

Great blog. I visit it often. What guitar(s) did Muriel play at the Darling House concert, and if she played more than one, did she have a favourite?

Just curious.

Hill Guitar Co said...

Hi Rob,

Muriel played two guitars, a cedar/Indian Signature XL and my personal guitar, which is a spruce/Brazilian Stand Up Signature XL. These instruments are pretty different, and believe it or not I didn't ask her which she favored. From where I sat, which was probably the worst seat in the house, the spruce may have had an edge, but they both sounded very cool, and so did Muriel.