Folks! What a treat September 17th! The Hollow was wide – windows up-cranked and swinging doors swung to fit the many, many seats of pleased heads and hearts and ears here to hear Matt the Electrician the fantastic, with the incomparable Scrappy Jud Newcomb and Seela, opened for by a hilarious, harmonica-and-guitar wonder and brilliantly smiling Lindy Osborne.
Amanda and Nathan kept hard at work behind the bar, people’s palates content with party snacks and fizzy juices, bubbly, beer, red or white wine, the ’07 Stories, and of course – of! course! – Half Magic! The Half Magic namesake, for those of you new to the vineyard, is a song off Matt's previous album, Animal Boy. Each bottle in a case (12) is hatted by a different song’s lyrics typed and folded and star-stuck to its neck. Seriously nifty.
Yeow! The room and deck and drive were boisterous with arrivals, catching up, anticipation, while the sky set its pretty, dusty pinks and lavenders down the backs of the hillsides, and dusk came and the torches were lit and Patrick directed cars until it was time for the four certain faces in the shadow-making amber light to sing to us of exquisite in-the-dark climbing trees and the perfect pedal bike, finding home from a distance and family vacations and the sudden, unexpected kindness of strangers. The show was a CD release party for Matt’s latest, Accidental Thief, which, if you don’t have in your CD player already, or on your computer, or somewhere able to get itself out the speakers and into your head, you should. Remedy! Each song sung by each artist – we were lucky and heard Scrappy and Seela do solo numbers, too – was a story that focused for its brief minutes on something that might otherwise go overlooked and this place – the vineyard, the Hollow, its makers and audience – champion such details, the beauty of slowing down to examine and make sense of and, ultimately, to celebrate.
Beyond the fantastic voices and harmonies and storytelling, I was struck by the varied ages of the audience, and the skill with which Lindy and Matt and Scrappy and Seela drew us all even closer to them. Nathan and Amanda have made The Hollow such a warm, inviting space: its people, their mission, the wines, its wood and light, how nestled each piece is in the Harris Valley basin. Add to it musical talent and humor and humility and admiration and pleasure, and you’ve got a night that might feel, once you’ve reached home, like you went somewhere secret and magical and that if you went back it might not be there. But! It is!
The tasting room opened as a regular Saturday that 17th at noon, and didn’t latch closed until midnight, its inside’s finding their ways carefully back to town or other country, a flashlight escort, the crossing of train tracks, and beneath the fuzzy stars cars catching all the watchers had trapped in their teeth and the pressures of their tongues while they sang what seeded inside them, to home, a toothbrush, and bed.
Thanks to all who came; we’ll keep you in the loop for our next event. And we hope to see even more of you in the future. Come and visit!