I just played a wedding gig at a small hotel in Troon, Scotland.
The performance was a surprise for the groom, who was an avid guitar player and facebook friend.
I rarely play at weddings, but this was an exception because it was close to where I live during a period of time when I was not touring…and I was charmed by the e-mail from the bride-to-be.
The title of the e-mail was “A long shot”.
I think Rhona, the bride-to-be, really expected me to decline the request and was surprised when I responded yes.
I was offered a room at the boutique hotel as part of the deal and I said yes to that as well. Why not?
I got the feeling she wanted me to spend time with her and her guitar playing husband-to-be beyond just playing the gig.
I am glad I took her up on it, as it turned out to be a special experience. I was able to relax after the performance and get to know them both, as well as their two families who had just joined forces.
Andy, the groom, really seemed to enjoy my surprise appearance. He asked lots of questions between tunes.
Taking his cue, other family members started asking questions as well. It turned into a sort of hour-long question-and-answer guitar workshop, punctuated by music.
After playing and putting the guitar and the gear away, I hung out with them.
We talked about wide-ranging topics — guitars (of course), motorcycles, travel, religion, world peace, the environment and many other subjects while sipping drinks in the cosy study of the hotel.
Duncan, the best man, told me he was surprised I wanted to spend time with them after I played.
I responded that I felt honoured they had so much time for me and wanted my company.
Before heading off to their room, Andy and Rhona told me they are going to try to make it to my concert at the Edinburgh Fringe festival in August.
I hope they do. It would be great to see them again.
Experiences like this remind me that playing music is, as it has always been throughout my life, an amazing way to meet and touch the lives of people, make lasting friendships, and stay connected.