On December 18, 2007, my quest brought me back to the intimate confines of the Turning Point Café in Piermont, NY. Aside from being close to my house, the Turning Point attracts great acts and gives someone the feeling of seeing a concert in someone's basement. My reason for going was to see "Christmas in Piermont" starring Melanie and Friends. I was all atwitter with the possibilities as to who the friends could be.Perhaps some other musician from the Woodstock era (thereby reducing the amount of stops on my quest), or maybe some other folk singers. Who were Melanie's friends?
It turned out that Melanie's only friend was her son, Beau-Jarred (Schekeryk), who is Melanie's 27 year old son. It turns out that he is a classical guitarist who likes to play Flamenco (and very talented, I might add). He opened with Silent Night played on an acoustic guitar then switched to an electric which he played most of the night. The fingers of his left hand danced across the fret board and the fingers of his right hand blurred while he was picking. He closed with Fantasia of Malagueña into which he incorporated Little Drummer Boy. While he played Little Drummer Boy, he swung his guitar behind his neck to play "Hendrix" style.
After a break, Melanie and Beau-Jarred took the stage. Melanie was warm and friendly despite expressing disappointment of a sparse crowd (The Turning Point only holds about 70 people and the place was only 1/3 to ½ full). She shared how important Christmas was to her to her, and since her tree was thousands of miles away, she put tinsel on her eyes. She explained the story of "Good King Wenceslaus" and noted that if you listen to the lyrics, you can trace the King's journey. After she played "I Saw Three Ships", she had the crowd sing along to "Pachebel's Canon in D" while she shared a story. Melanie stated that although it was a Christmas show, she would play other songs. The crowd called out requests ("Tin Star", "Wondrous Love", "Crazy Love", and "Golden Chains (Hand Me Downs)" among them). It was obvious that she hadn't played "Golden Chains (Hand Me Downs)" in a while, as she started it in the wrong key (an audience member told her it was in "D"). She talked about how as a child she terrified of Santa Claus because he watched everything she did and did the creepiest version of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" that I have ever heard (it was very cool). I don't think Melanie was watching the clock; however, when one of the more vocal fans announced that he had to catch a bus back to NYC, Melanie launched into "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" and ended the show. Afterward, she signed items, including my Woodstock Poster.
Silent Night Untitled in E Minor Bravo Dude Gypsy Girl Fantasia of Malagueña / Little Drummer Boy
Melanie with Beau Jarred
It's Christmas Good King Wenceslaus I Saw Three Ships / Pachebel's Canon in D Tonight's the Kind of Night Tin Star Wondrous Love True Believers Crazy Love What Have They Done To My Song, Ma?/ Jingle Bells Happy Christmahanavaloween O Come All Ye Faithful Santa Claus is Coming to Town Golden Chains (Hand Me Downs) You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone Hushabye Peace Will Come (According to Plan) We Wish You a Merry Christmas