The Kids Are Alright

Posted in Miscellaneous on December 27th 2012 by Randy Reichardt

I had a very moving experience involving children on Wednesday, 19 December 2012. At 12:30 hrs, I went to Sarah’s school to help her with her Christmas concert the next day. Sarah is an elementary school teacher, and is also the music teacher in her school, which covers K-6. Some weeks ago she asked if I would learn a Coco Love Alcorn song, “Joyful“, teach her how to play it, and then she would teach the kids how to sing it. For the concert, I would play guitar on that song. I arrived at the school, and immediately realized I’d left my guitar at home. Well, duh. Sarah met me and told me she had her’s there, so I could use it. At least I had my amp and cables.

We went to the gym and I set up my gear, Sarah and I ran through Joyful, as well as a couple of her originals, because she had said we might play 1-3 of her original tunes for the children as well. Everything was ready and at about 13:00 the kids started filling up the gym with their various teachers. I found myself very conscious of their presence, not in the least of which was because of the recent Sandy Hook tragedy. I felt so privileged to be there amongst them. While they were getting seated, I started to play Jingle Bells quietly, and the K kids, sitting close to me, started smiling and singing along. By the time everyone was seated, the entire school was singing Jingle Bells. A little girl in the K class smiled and made me the heart symbol with her hands so I did it back to her, and she and the other kids sitting with her were beaming!

Sarah explained that the kids were there so that they could see a preview of the concert and see what the other grades would be doing during the concert, since when the concert was being held (twice that day), they wouldn’t be able to watch. We sat through each Grade doing their songs and dances and routines, all of them wonderful, silly, and yes, joyful. When it was time for me to join in, she introduced me (they all know that she and I play music together), and the kids all yelled, “HI RANDY!” I couldn’t stop smiling.

To organize them for the song, Sarah and their teachers lined them all up in a row against the left, right and back walls, with the smallest ones up front, below the stage. (This is how they would sing the song during the concert, with the parents sitting in the chairs watching). I started playing, while also basically helping Sarah, as she had to conduct them facing four directions at once, and the kids at the front had an extra line to sing at the end of the song. I played, the kids sang, and it was great fun, with me singing standing near the centre of the gym (at Sarah’s request), playing while also singing along so the kids could see me doing so and follow along more easily.

When this was finished, we were going to play a song or two of Sarah’s. The kids were excited, and Sarah told them they could all get up and dance. The K kids were smiling at me and I said, “Hey, are you guys ready to dance?”, and they said, “Yah”, so I said in a louder voice, “I SAID, ARE YOU READY TO DANCE?”, and they screamed, “YEEAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!”

I started the song, but Sarah had no mic, so they couldn’t hear her, just me playing. So there I was, pounding out Sarah’s great song, “Gone for Good”, and an entire elementary school dancing up a storm on the gymnasium floor and having a blast. It was so much fun.

No one needs to be reminded of how special and important children are. But seldom do we get to go into a school and experience what teachers do for them, and what an absolute gift each child is in our lives, and how amazing each teacher is. The concerts held the following day were a great success, and I loved helpng Sarah and her kids with both of them. But I also wanted to share with you what an amazing, special experience today was for me. Thanks, Sarah, for asking me to help! ūüôā

Free Music Download from Rachael Yamagata!

Posted in Rachael Yamagata on November 7th 2012 by Randy Reichardt

Music lovers! Rachael Yamagata is offering a free download of ten of her new songs! Go, download, and PLEASE remember to tip the artist for doing this. She is amazing.

Sarah Lillian with Randy Reichardt, Blue Chair Cafe, Edmonton AB

Posted in Sarah Lillian on November 5th 2012 by Randy Reichardt

Here’s a compilation video of Sarah Lillian and I performing three of her songs at the Blue Chair Cafe, on Friday, 24 May 2012. ¬†We opened for our friend, Chris Trapper, that night.

Bill Janovitz – My Funny Valentine

Posted in Bill Janovitz, Buffalo Tom on October 25th 2012 by Randy Reichardt

Bill Janovitz, El Capitan of Buffalo Tom, of my my all-time favorite bands, sings My Funny Valentine with the Rusty Scott Quartet, 18 October 2012, Redstar Union, Cambridge MA.

Over 1,000,000 Torrents of Downloadable Books, Music, and Movies

Posted in Internet Archive on August 8th 2012 by Randy Reichardt

.: “The Internet Archive is now offering¬†over 1,000,000 torrents including our¬†live music concerts, the¬†Prelinger movie collection, the¬†librivox audio book collection,¬†feature films,¬†old time radio,¬†lots and lots of books, and all new uploads from our patrons¬†into¬†Community¬†collections¬†(with more to follow).”

Full story is here.

59th Street Birthday Song

Posted in Miscellaneous, Random Thoughts on June 28th 2012 by Randy Reichardt

This time around, I’ll keep it short and sweet.¬† Today is my 59th birthday.¬† I was born at 01:05 in Winnipeg on 28 June 1953.¬† I don’t necessarily like getting older, but as my Mother noted some years ago when I complained about a birthday, and I paraphrase: “Think about those who never made it to the birthday that you’re celebrating today.”¬† Good point, Mom, and thanks for the reminder.

One thing on my mind today is that this is the last year of my 6th decade.¬† I’m still single, still think mostly like a kid, and probably have the maturity level of a 30 year-old.¬† I still wear t-shirts that celebrate the bands I like: Buffalo Tom, Bob Mould, Steely Dan.¬† Hey, grow up, already!¬† Well, maybe not.

Many things for which I am grateful: my health, my extended family, my friends and colleagues, the great career I’ve had and the opportunities it has given me to meet so many wonderful people and travel all over the USA and to India, the good fortune to have lived in Canada my entire life and in two great Canadian cities, Winnipeg, and since 1978, Edmonton.¬† I’m grateful for my ability to make music with a guitar, and for the many fantastic musicians with whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and working over 40+ years, many of whom I count as friends.

Thank you to everyone who has been a part of my life right up to this very second.