Van Morrison

Van Morrison

Happy (late) St. Patrick’s Day! I hope it was ridiculously fun and ridiculously safe at the same time.

Mrs. YHT and I elected to spend Sunday at home, having ventured out on Saturday to get the ingredients needed to make a celebratory steak, Guinness and cheddar pie. It’s a good thing our schedules were clear, because the pie took the better part of the evening to make, with the initial chopping, slicing and mincing starting around 4 p.m. and pie not hitting palates until a little after 8.

While I usually try to be a helpful sous-chef in these situations, the burgeoning cold that’s attacking my throat and energy in equal measures kept me out of the kitchen for most of the meal’s preparation. I did manage to contribute indirectly by choosing cooking music I thought would enhance the experience, and despite resisting at first, I went with the album pictured above — Van Morrison’s Moondance.

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Congrats, Leigh and Dan!

So guess where I was this weekend? If you said, “On your couch, watching hours of European soccer, NASCAR and playoff basketball, without exhibiting the slightest inkling of productivity,” you’d be DEAD WRONG, alright?

That was the weekend before.

I’m proud to say that this weekend, I was up in the fine state of New Jersey, providing the music for my cousin Leigh’s wedding ceremony with the dinged-up, pink-tape-sporting guitar amp pictured above. This was my second gig playing guitar at a wedding (the first was at my sister’s in Chicago a few years ago, in which instance you could technically say I opened for David Vandervelde), and I’m so happy Leigh and her newly-minted husband Dan asked me to be a part of their special day. One of the best parts was corresponding with Leigh beforehand about which songs I’d play and when in the ceremony I’d play them. Helping my cousin choose the soundtrack to one of life’s most meaningful events was an incredible honor.

The funny thing is, though Leigh and I exchanged messages about the playlist, brides actually miss out on like half of the tunes. Seems unfair, right? Some random second cousin’s +1 gets to hear everything, but the bride, fulfilling her role as the fashionably late piece in the processional puzzle, only gets to hear the second-to-last and last songs? An outrage! I thought I’d remedy this by recreating the experience for Leigh via some favorite cover versions of all 4 songs played, along with a link to a runner-up for each (sorry, YouTube has way too much cool stuff to choose just one), starting with the music that helped the guests get settled in their seats.

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