Dan Plays with Songwriters At Play at the Sculpterra Winery and Sculpture Garden in the Rain

As part of my mini SLO tour, I was privileged to play at one of Steve Key’s fabulous “Songwriters at Play” showcase concerts in Paso Robles, CA at Sculpterra Winery and Sculpture Garden. What a wonderful thing. Steve is really doing amazing events showcasing the best talent in the area. Part of what he does is make slots available for touring musicians and it was such fun to play there. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Have you ever been to Sculpterra Winery? It is just spectacular. Every year, my friends and I gather in Paso Robles for the “Peacetour.” A silly wine tour gathering created by my friend “Peaceboy” who is famous internationally for his Peacepunch… you drink some and when you sleep you sleep with the peace of an innocent soul. No dreams…  just snores and drool… for hours…  and you wake up… um… refreshed, shall we say.  Yea, that’s it. Refreshed. All day on a limo with a stripper pole and a party mix CD to which we all contribute, and 30 of my favorite people drinking wine in the Paso Robles sunshine. Then back to the ranch for Peacepunch and the reliving of the wandering groves and gardens and laughing and being sillier and sillier as two days of fun goes by. It is delightful and then you sleep for a day. I can’t wait until next year.

Click through for the whole story and a video of Autumn Rain

One previous trip took us to Sculpterra. Did I mention that it is spectacular? It really is. The garden menagerie of huge sculpted animals, gleaming metal in the sunshine, shiny marble smooth as glass, chiseled as if by lasers so carefully carved. Big cats, a giraffe, an elephant, fish, a horse – everywhere you look there is something as beautiful as the last. Metal and stone.

I used to be a welder a long, long time ago. Taking a pile of steel and making something out of it is very satisfying. The growing sense of accomplishment as the pile becomes a barn feels so good. When it’s done and you stand back or see it in the rearview mirror, it is very satisfying to sort of bang on that thing you made.

With that said, I can’t even imagine what the artists that created these stunning creatures must feel when they stand there in the garden with a glass of wine and see their big cat lounging on the limb. Wow. Whether you like art or wine or peaceful gardens, you will absolutely love your vist to The Sculpterra Winery and Sculpture Garden.

When you go, make sure that you check the schedule and try to go on a day when Steve Key brings one of his Showcases there. Live music in the garden; give him a call for info. It is a wonderful thing for local songwriters as well as the occasional wandering minstrel. This show was no different. The featured performer was Kate Kilbane, with guest performers Dorian Michael, Gary Garrett, Elizabeth! and myself.

There was a chance of rain, but fans and musicians alike showed up and set up and sat down. We played as best we could with – and occasionally without – the electric PA. (After all, who would recognize me with shockingly curly hair?) What a joy it is to play in the drizzly rain for people huddled up under blankets with wine and warm drinks who really appreciate good music! I didn’t need the PA. I really liked just grabbing a stool and playing in the misty drizzle, up close where I could see the smiles. Delightful.

The obvious, logical and a propos song of the day, Autumn Rain, is the clip below. I love this 12-string song. Lots of cool harmonics, some single and some double. It is a cool sound when you can hit an harmonic on the low string of a pair and hit the high string open; tricky, but what a cool sound. Sounds like rain drops to me.

Listen to it next time it’s raining.


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