It's taken me awhile to sit down and write about Friday's incredible 10-20-30 celebration. With Ernie and I both being a tad under the weather, we were totally wiped out afterwards. We are starting to feel normal again, at least out new normal!! As the memories of the evening percolated around in my head as we recovered, I couldn't escape the word, 'family.' I have talked often about the family of friends we have, but never has a house concert felt like such a family celebration to me. Jason, Fats, and Kristi Rose all feel like family to us now. And we do not take that lightly, we are honored by their friendship and love. Of course, having the Taxi Boys open the show also cemented the feeling of circling connections. It was an extraordinary night, and Ernie and I felt so loved. We thank every single of you that were there, and extra thanks to ALL the people that really stepped up and helped make this happen, particularly to Teri McCarthy, and my dear brother-in-law, Dennis.

Every week I have a phone call check in from the new doctor's office I am working with. Each week is a different topic—this week's was mindset, goals and thankfulness, and I almost got teary as I told her how grateful I am for the support of my friends and family, how this house concert really brought that home to me. Then she asked if I ever journaled, and I had to explain that technically, no, but I've got this blog…heh.

Our Taxi Boys:

Taxi boys rhphoto courtesy Richard McClaughry Hill

Our beloved Fats and Kristi Rose:

45497875071_d7da83309a_ophoto courtesy Veronical Rusnak

I must admit I wish I had video of Fats doing a stunning piece on his violin. The tone that man gets just blows me away. So beautiful.

And, of course, the one and only Jason Ringenberg, whom I adore.


photo courtesy Veronica Rusnak

Good God, but I love this song. My favorite line is about bankers wearing Ramones t-shirts on the weekend or something like that. Yes.

Possibly my favorite point of the whole evening. Jason, Fats and Kristi Rose together on the Weight. So moving. Side note…I HAD meant to adjust the lights…sorry!

My beloved Sue reached out to all the folks that had played here and gathered greetings and anniversary wishes from them. I was totally blown away and so touched….by all the kind words, but also the fact that Sue took this on to do. Again, we are so fortunate. I won't post them all here….it would be downright embarrassing…but I will post a few.

from Paul Griffith:
OMG, yes! House concerts are saving the singer-songwriter business, and Cynthia and Ernie's is the best. Great vibe, great hospitality, great music. Thank you!

from Annie McCue:
Congrats Cynthia and Ernie for being part of the Underground Railway for singer-songwriters who are flying under the radar of the corporate music business. It was truly a joy to play at your house. We all appreciate your concert series so much! Happy Anniversary! xoxo

from Bill Jackson:
I would be delighted if you added my name to the congratulations for Cynthia & Ernie. They are amazing people and living proof of Community and the power of Music to bring people together. From all the way down here in Melbourne, Australia I continually feel their love and support and look forward to seeing them again.

from Eric Brace:
From my first visit it was clear that this was one special, magical place. In return trips to play in this beloved Champaign home, I have received not one, but TWO moon landing cakes from a Sandwich Life regular, I've squeezed into the packed kitchen to sample as many BYO wines as I could, I've seen LEGO magic, I've skidded on ice out the side door, I've sat on the staircase and listened to other sing beautiful songs, I've made friends for life with Cynthia and Ernie, and I can't imagine a world without them and this incredible space they've created for folks like me. Here's to ten more years of sharing the music they love with the friends they love, and to ten more years of that love coming back at them in joyous karmic waves.

from Peter Cooper:
Congratulations to Cynthia and Ernie. These are great people who support wondrous music and wondering, wandering musicians. Their home is a haven and a magnet and a safe space for those of us with the nerve or foolishness to travel and pontificate in the services of expression and communication and, in the best of times, something that approaches communion. I love these people. I'd fight for them, except I know I'll never have to. Nobody would challenge these folks. Nobody would combat these folks. Nobody would or could do anything but appreciate and celebrate these folks. In summation, kiss my grits. With love and devotion, Peter Cooper

Then Sue asked if people could guess who the last one was from, and half the room yelled, "DAVID OLNEY!" I am inordinately proud that my love for him is so well known.

from David Olney:
Cynthia and Erie are what the Americana scene is all about. Music fans who take control. The experience is one of audience and performer working together. When I'm playing at their house and look out on the audience, it hits me like a Rembrandt painting. Warm and loving. They are the best.

Thank you to all from the bottom of our hearts. You all are our beloved family.