In my hometown, Monroe, WI, I was nervous about filling up a theatre, but I ended up being surrounded by packed seats and smiling faces, 90% of them belonging to people who raised me (my beginning violin instructor, my best friend since elementary school, my high school friends' parents, BOTH of my parents (who haven't been in the same room together in over a decade), cousins/aunts/uncles, family friends (some of whom probably changed my diaper), and too many other connections to list. At one point between songs, I said "They say it takes a village to raise a child, and it feels like that village is here tonight." When people asked how it went, all I can say is there was so much love in the room.
My other shows were all great, and all in their own ways. At Breckenridge, a woman who listened intently the entire time shared with me after the show that she is a violinist, though she doesn't have time to play anymore, nor an ensemble to play with. After chatting with her for some time, she apologetically asked if she could play my violin. I said, "Of course!" and she sat in the bar by herself playing through classical repertoire she could recall for about 15 - 20 minutes while I chatted with others and started packing up. When she brought my fiddle back, she handed my instrument to me like a priceless relic and thanked me, telling me that I have no idea what that meant to her. Really.
It was great to see more familiar faces at Spring Green, Galena, and Iowa City (which was recorded live! Special shoutout to Steve for the killer mic!). I was nervous about the rest of the shows where I only knew a couple (or zero) people, but the folks at Sam & Gabe's showed me their love (and one of the bartenders is a great violinist!), in Milford people welcomed me with open arms (special thanks to Kelli, Jon, Scott, Melissa, and Jamie!), and the Omaha folks got down HARD (especially for a Sunday show!). For real, stop by and see Mike at Pat & Mike's if you're in Omaha. You'll leave with new friends for sure! The next time I'm in town, we're planning on having an old time jam - who knew Omaha had an old time scene?!?! (PS: thanks, Kevin!)
Really, I'm just overwhelmed with gratitude for people's generosity - for showing up, for listening, for being moved, for moving me, for opening their homes to me even if they didn't know me. Everyone gave me so much on this tour, and I'm looking forward to giving more of myself through music on future tours.