Northern Mass. Southern Mass. C'mon out see Vance - FAST!

Hi VanceFans!

It’s a slower time of year for public show gigs, but I have a slew of private parties coming up!! Dec 9, 12, 23, Jan 8th are all in someone’s livingroom. Yes, that could be you too. Write me back here if you’re interested in a SNHP (Short Notice Holiday Party).

Oh, but there are some ways to publicly see me:

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12/11 Sun - Newburyport, MA 978-465-7300 www.mandaravajuice.com

This place is owned by my friend Mary and her mamma. It’s my only public performance in December. And the food is vegan & tremendous. Come on up 95 and see me

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1/1/17 Sun - Seekonk MA, Patti’s Place House Concerts 774-219-4548 (cell) pattimdalton@gmail.com

We love Patti. You will too. C’mon over to her house New Years Day!

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CD DEAL - You get all my available CDs (they’re in my basement - that’s 8 CDs) signed and I throw in a brand new USB CD player (signed too). $120 bucks. Good holiday present for those Xers or Millenials that have no way to play a Vance CD. Yep, comes tied up in a ribbon too. Postage paid. Sure, if the stocking is big enough it’ll fit. Lemme know.

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COACHING - yes. The schedule is filling up again. Lemme know.

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More Stories from my upcoming book :

FAVORITE THANKSGIVING EVER

Talk about Newburyport? That reminds me of a story...

So for two stretches, one in college and one after college, I dated Pamela. She’ll see this I’m sure, but I’m betting she won't mind. We met in 1976 and while we see each other very infrequently, we care for each other fiercely.

That’s how I met her dad Pete.

It was Thanksgiving. Pam had invited me to her house for the traditional meal and to stay over on the couch.

Truly Thanksgiving around my house as a kid was a family thing, and I mean immediate family - me, my brother, Mom, Dad. We said grace, we ate, we watched football, the parade, we broke wind, Dad got drunk, Mom cleaned up, we went to bed after a stacked turkey sandwich.

That was that.

So here I am my first time having Thanksgiving away from home at these white people’s house of this girl I was kissing on and don’t you know I was, well, wary.

Pete was a traditionalist, as far as I could see. I was told that Pete loved Thanksgiving best of all holidays because “it didn’t matter who you are or color or religion, you can always have Thanksgiving..” That held some promise, still...

He and the rest of this lovely family invited me in warmly. Jono, Merin, Lisa, Mappy (Mom), Pete, Pam, Me. It was a crowded table. So Pete was walking the outskirts of the table, going person to person, with the platter of already beautifully sliced turkey and a large pointy fork, spearing and dishing out.

Let’s be clear. I don’t know this man. He’s tall, looks like a movie actor, booming voiced, kind but presiding, a real presence. I do not know him. So far I am a “friend from college”. Hell, it was the 70’s, and everybody brought home some different colored somebody or another come that first semester break or whenever. Pam and I are both pretty new at this seeing someone thing, and here I was in Newburyport with this family and their wood stove and cats and all looking like a cross between Father Knows Best and The Waltons. I’m pretty certain there’s a shotgun over the mantle here somewhere. And a basement room with a rack. With chains. And stocks.

He comes up to my right hand side:

“Light or dark meat”?

“A little of both, please?” I reply. Pete dishes me up heartily.

He says to Pam, “Light or dark meat?”

Pam says “Light meat please, Dad..”

He complies. As he heads to Jono, sitting to Pam’s right, with a fresh pointy fork of bird, I raise my eyebrows at Pam in silent comedic jest at her turkeymeat shade choice.

Pete stops, backs up, and puts his head smilingly between us with the tray to his side, and without looking at either one of us whispers:

“You two can work *this* out …later”.

He continues around the table amidst the clatter, no one privy to what he said but Pamela and me, both of us blanched the same shade of whatever, and stifling the most monstrous of laughs ever.

Pete became one of the greatest supporters of what I do. He’d call Boston radio stations and request my songs. He’d call the station when I was on live to register his approval of the guest. And that night and more than a few others, even after Pamela and I had gone our own ways, we’d sit around his kitchen and he’d play every song you could ever think of - from Hoagy Carmichael’s “Huggin and a Chalkin” to John Prine’s “Hello In There" to "Me and Bobby McGee" with about 4 - 5 chords.

That consummate, that rounded, and still, when it was my turn with the guitar, he’d ask me to play “one of mine”. It didn’t matter how deep he got into that bottle of Jack, he made every song ring, regardless of its obscurity. And while we would swap and try to outdo each other with Gershwin or Cole Porter, when he asked me for a song, again he'd always ask for one of mine.

Old White Men indeed. It’s been a while since you’ve been gone, but you’re never forgotten this time of year. I can see you handing the guitar to Richard Rogers and saying “Go ahead, play one of yours..”

Thanks for the love and lessons Pete. Happy Belated Thanksgiving.

Peace everyone xovg