...are two of the most awesome people in the world. Seriously.
You may recall me mentioning Cara a few times before. If not, here's a little recap. Cara is one of my favorite musicians. She's an amazing singer from Northern Ireland who does a nice mix of traditional Irish songs and contemporary pieces, some of which she writes with her husband, musician Sam Lakeman. (He plays piano and guitar.) I've been listening to Cara for about a year, after discovering her on an Irish radio station on iTunes. (Any of you listen to the radio stations on iTunes? Seriously, they're awesome. Pretty much any genre you can think of!)
Well, back in the spring a great friend of mine from England, Malcolm, was going to see Cara. He said he wanted to give her one of the bracelets that I made, one which was inspired by the colors on the cover of her latest album The Hill of Thieves. He inquired about purchasing it, but I told him that having one of my pieces go to someone like Cara would be payment enough...plus Malcolm has been very helpful in acquiring some CDs for me that I couldn't get here in the states (or would have had to pay very high import prices for) so I kind of owed him one anyways. Aaaaaaaaanyways, I sent him the bracelet, which he put in a lovely blue gift box, and, according to him, Cara was quite pleased with it. Awesome.
Hill of Thieves
the bracelet (and Malcolm's lovely gift box)
a very pleased Cara
Even more awesome? A few weeks ago I stopped by Cara's fan forum and found this sweet message waiting for me:
I've been meaning to thank you for absolutely ages for the gorgeous bracelet yo made for me. The colours are stunning and I am very touched at the time and effort you put into making this, I will always treasure it.I've been wearing it at some of our concerts and out and about and it's always admired.Again, thank you for your kindness and keep up the fantastic work.
Is that not just the sweetest thing ever? A frickin' celebrity (OK, she's not too well known here, but according to a friend of mine in Germany, Cara's a "big deal" in Europe.) taking the time to thank me, and calling herself MY fan. Insane!
Could it get any better than that? Nope. At least that's what I thought. Then I read that Cara and Sam would be doing some shows in the states to promote the US release of HoT. One of the shows is in NYC. I've never been to NYC. Quite frankly, the idea of going freaks me out. I'm a strict suburbanite. I like living in a town with 2,500 residents, 2 gas stations, 3 pizzarias, and 3 stoplights, where everyone knows me, where I can drive 10 minutes (or less) in any direction and find corn fields and dairy cows, where I can walk anywhere I need to go in under 15 minutes. Big cities scare the crap out of me. Or at least I think they do. My only real exposure to big cities is going to Albany or Syracuse, and that's only for shopping or to go to concerts. I do what I need to do and get the heck out of there. But I digress. I hemmed and hawed about going, snarked about the price of a bus ticket, cab fare, and hotel room (if necessary), moaned about having to take a day (maybe two) off from work, but ultimately I decided that braving the city would be worth it, to see Cara and Sam live for the first time ever...even if the bus ticket there and back is gonna cost me $120.
Now, you're probably wondering where things start getting better. I'm getting to that. So, a few days ago I checked Cara's fan forum again and found another message, this time from Sam.
I was just checking some of the messages on here and noticed you're planning to come down to the NY show. It sounds like it might take a bite out of your wallet. Cara and I would love to put you on the guestlist if you were to make the effort. It might make for a more enjoyable experience. The whole reason for the trip is promotion anyway so what's the point if we can't make sure our real fans get to come along and enjoy us live.
On the guestlist? Me? OK! If I wasn't going to the show before that, I was now!!! As I understand it, being "on the guestlist" basically just gets you into the show for free...and tickets are only $12, so I'm not saving much. But the gesture means so much more than that. I love finding out that my favorite musicians are not only good musicians, but good people in generally. Makes me truly happy to support them, glad to shell out for concert tickets, CDs and DVDs. Now I like very, very many musicians, and so few of them seem to be such genuinely good people. (Pat Green is one exception...I have a few good stories I could tell about him.)
So needless to say, I am very excited right now. To top it all off, a childhood friend of mine, who lives in the city, wants to go to the show with me. I haven't seen her in a few years, so getting to hang out with her for the day will be great. It's the icing on the cake. A very big, chocolately, sugary sweet, ooey gooey cake, at that. September 28th can NOT come quick enough!
After all this, I'm positive you're all dying to hear Cara. I know it. And one of you probably will be lucky enough to hear her. No, I'm not going to stuff you in my handbag and smuggle you onto the bus and into Joe's Pub for the concert. But, knowing me, I probably will snag an extra copy of Hill of Thieves to give away in an upcoming Win-It Wednesday. Try not to die of anticipation before then, OK?