Tuesday, January 6, 2015
On September 12th, Eugine Snoden performed at the Maitland Art Center for their monthly "Culture Pop" music series. I went to the art center right after work, so I arrived early. The arts building had just been renovated and expanded. The band arrived and started loading in their equipment. Once all the mics were in place, one of the band members plugged in an amplifier and suddenly all the lights went out. A Maitland Arts Center staff member tried flipping the fuse box switch but that didn't work. It was dusk and getting dark fast. I couldn't see my sketch page.
Guests who arrived informed us that the lights were out all over Maitland. I recalled that on the drive to the event, I had passed utility workers working on a power pole about a mile away. The work had caused a major bottle neck on the drive north. Being a consummate performer, Eugine decided that the show must go on. The band brought a few chairs outside and they began to perform an acoustic set. The audience sat in the grass and on the steps. There wag a romance in listening to the music under the huge live oak trees covered in hanging moss.
After a few songs, the lights flickered back on. I quickly returned to my seat to continue the sketch I had started. Eugine is an amazing performer. He acts as a ring master inviting other performers to join him at any time. His music is soulful and verges on being a religious experience. He invited violinist Beth Black to join in for several songs and her music blended beautifully into the mix. If you ever have a chance to see Eugine Snoden perform you must jump at the chance.