Florissant, MO 11/16 review

Robin Woodson's Florissant, MO reviewas posted to the Ragamuffin Mailing List

From: Robin Woodson
Subject: Mitch @ St Louis Christian College
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 22:14:36

Hey guys,

Here's the most accurate account I can present you with regarding Mitch's
"mini-concert" at St. Louis Christian College:

We got to the college at about 6:30, found the small 
coffeehouse/cafeteria, and watched a handful of students finish their 
dinner.  We bought cheap sodas - two 12 oz. Styrofoam cups for $1.  I 
thought the gal had only charged me for one, so I pointed out that we 
had two.  She said the dollar was for both sodas.  Who said college 
is expensive?  

If it had not been for the six guitars, hammered dulcimer, sound 
equipment and two guys practicing we'd have certainly thought we were 
in the wrong place.  I knew one of the guys was Brad, because Apryl 
had so graciously sent me a picture, but I didn't know who the other 
one was.  We noticed when Mitch came in, but the three looked busy so 
we decided not to bother them. The crowd was so small we knew we'd 
have time to talk later.  A couple girls came up to us to ask about 
the schedule times, etc.  They thought we were part of the band.  We 
told them we weren't with the band, but had schedule times.  (Thanks 
to Danl's handy dandy concert info he so faithfully posts to the 
list.  Thanks again, again and again, Danl!)  

We just sat and took in the whole environment wondering what would happen
next.  Well.  Next; everyone left but the cafeteria workers and the band.  I
had just asked one of the cafeteria workers if everyone was leaving when
guess who showed up?  Cathy from the list.  She came over, hugged me and sat
down.  She told me she had to rush to get there, but was so glad she'd made
it.  We had just begun visiting when Mitch grabbed his jacket and looked
like he was leaving.  I said, "Hey, is it over?"

He came over and said, "Oh, you didn't hear?  The concert time has 
been changed."  I said, "No, we didn't hear.  When is it?"  He 
responded, "There's a basketball game or something, so we'll be 
playing from nine to ten."  (Whoa!!! That's a BIG difference!!!)  I 
said, "Oh well, we can wait. We can go do some Christmas shopping and 
come back later."  But Cathy said she couldn't stay, because she had 
to work the next day.  I felt bad for her, especially after she had 
rushed and driven an hour to get there; but she said it was okay.  
She said she'd be there for the Thursday night concert (working at 
the Compassion table).  She got a chance to talk with Mitch for a few 
minutes.  I asked Mitch if we could all get a picture together.  He 
said yes.  He said they were getting ready to go eat, so we tried to 
make it quick.  When I get the film developed, I'll send the photo to 
Cathy and she can scan it if anyone wants to see it.  

As we were searching for a store we saw a Krispy Kreme donut shop.  
I had never heard of it until it was discussed on the list a while 
back; so we just HAD to try it.  Kelsie and I agree with whoever said 
they are good.  We got a dozen so we could take some home to Steve 
and Josh.  

We came back to the cafeteria at about 8:45 (so we could get a good 
seat. Hehe, haha).  At this particular concert, arriving 15 minutes 
early meant being the FIRST ones there.  Kelsie had a book she was 
reading. So, I decided to take advantage of the situation.  I grabbed 
my camera and was headed for the hammered dulcimer to sneak a great 
picture.  Kelsie said, "Mom, why do you want a picture of a hammered 
dulcimer?  We HAVE one."  Just as she said it, I realized I was about 
to get caught.  Brad and the "mystery guy" were coming down the 
steps; so I made a quick U-turn and came back to the table.  I told 
Kelsie, "You're right.  I don't need a picture of it, 'cause I think 
I'll just come back over and sit down instead of getting caught."  

You know how sheepish you feel when you've done something "shady?"  
You get this feeling that EVERYONE saw you.  You feel you have NO 
other choice, but to fess up (otherwise you'd keep it hidden); but 
when you bear your heart and make your confession, you find that no 
one else even noticed - UNTIL you confessed?  Then, you're going, 
"WHY did I confess?  I should have just kept my mouth shut?"  Hehe, 
haha.  (You guys know I'm having fun with this, don't you?)  So, I 
just blurted out my confession to Brad.  I said, "I just about got 
caught!!!"  He said, "Caught?  Doing what?"  I said, "Well, I was on 
my way over to get a picture of your HD, until I saw you coming.  
Then I got scared, so I ran the other way."  He said, "Oh, that's 
okay.  There's nothing wrong with that.  You can get a picture."  I 
was glad he gave me the OK.  I had this idea that, going over by the 
instruments with no one else in the room, would be kind of like 
invading the HD's "personal space", or something.  Now, I had 
permission to do it, so I jumped at the chance.  

Before the concert started, we went over to the "goods" table.  I was 
very excited to see that Mitch has a new T-shirt out.  I told him the 
off-white, green and brown one only matches one other shirt I have in 
my closet; so the new one (black, red and yellow) is a welcome 
change.  Mitch said Brad did the artwork for them.  Cool !!!   The 
shirts were only $10.  I tried to talk them into marking them up to 
$15, but they didn't do it.  Mitch said if I wanted to pay $15, I 
could though.  Ryan Long had CDs available.  I asked him how he would 
describe his music.  Mitch said, "Techno."  I must have had a funny 
look on my face when I said disappointedly, "Oh, really?"  They 
laughed at me.  Then Ryan said he'd compare his music to James 
Taylor.  That was good for me.  

It was a packed house - maybe 25 in attendance (30 at best.)  

Mitch and Brad started with Here & Now.

Brad said in a low voice, "Thank You."  (laughter)

Mitch commented, "I know we're in a cafeteria, but it sure feels like 
church 'cause nobody's in the front row.  Well, I hope we have fun."  

He told us the next song was the first one that had been written for 
The Canticle. He told the story about the five Chicago business men 
who were in a hurry to get home, but knocked a young boys apples 
over.  I could make an attempt at reconstructing the story, but fear 
that I would mess it all up.  I think someone on the list gave an 
account of it earlier.  It is a beautiful story. In short, the boy 
was blind; and when one of the five men stopped to help him, he 
thought the man was Jesus.  Mitch said, "I don't know how much the 
boy knew about Jesus.  Maybe he had just heard that Jesus was the 
greatest lover of all time."  Mitch then asked us, "Would any blind 
person accuse us of 'being Jesus'?  They will know we are Christians 
by our love."  

Mitch did Heaven Is Waiting (with Brad adding the HD to it.  I wish you
could have heard it.)

Brad said in a low voice, "Thank You."  (laughter)

Mitch and Brad had a seat in some lawn chairs.  Brad said, "We're having a
smooth flowing concert tonight."

Mitch introduced Brad Layher (pronounced like a layer cake - my own 
description). Someone in the audience said, "Hi, Brad."  Brad 
responded, "He said, 'Hi, Brad.'  I like that better than hand-
clapping."  So, if any of you get a chance to see him, yell, 'Hi, 
Brad," instead of clapping.  Hehe, haha.  

Mitch said, "It's great to tour with Brad, to ride in the van with him, to
do music, and smell him.  Some smells are better than others."

Brad said, "Maybe we should play a song for them, Mitch."

They sang (On Christ) The Solid Rock (I Stand) a capella (sp).  They 
did a cool "percussion-y thing" during the 3rd verse beating on their 

Mitch said, "Thanks.  That was a hard one to work up, as stupid and easy as
it looks.  We couldn't figure out if it was three or four beats per measure;
so we did the song in three and the intro in four.

Brad said, "I try my best to fill in where Mitch is lacking in his jokes."

Someone in the audience said, "Refrain."  So Brad responds, "Refrain.  Lets
do a song with a refrain."  He went into this ridiculous impromptu song
about refraining.  It ended up being the "dead space song" that I've heard
about somewhere, probably another review.  

Take Hold of Me was next.

Brad said in a low voice, "Thank you."  (laughter)

Mitch said he had been listening to one of his favorite country albums.  I
got the impression he doesn't have a lot of favorite country albums, but
it's just a guess.  He said the next song was his best attempt to do a
country song.  He said he and Brad would have some help on it.  Finally we
were officially introduced to the "mystery man" - Ryan Long.  Mitch said,
"He is very gifted songwriter.  We like him a lot."  They did a beautiful
"Only Love Will."  Ryan and Brad did BGVs and shakers.
Mitch said they get to have Ryan along sometimes.  He likes having Ryan
along because he likes, "having him do his thing.  He is very good."

Ryan sang a really neat song called, "Do You Hold Me? (I think
that's the title.)  He is really enjoyable to watch, and really gets into
the music. You can tell he's having fun.

Brad said, "We're a little sickly tonight in case you've noticed."  There
was a lot of talk about being "sickly."  (I understood a most of their small
talk, but I was lost with some of it.)

Ryan said, "This song will prove it."  (I think the reason I didn't notice
the "sickli-ness" stuff was because it was on my "normal" wavelength - kind
of that takes one to know one" kind of thing.)  Ryan said he had a guitar
stolen once.  He went into how much he really liked that guitar and how he
really wants to find out who stole it.  He said, "The police almost had it
figured out at one point.  There were fingerprints all over it.  But, come
to find out, they were his fingerprints."  (Okay, now I'm beginning to
understand the sickly stuff!)  "I have a real good idea of who stole it, so
everywhere I go, I sing the song; 'cause I figure the more I sing it, the
better the chance I'll have of getting it back."  - I don't know the name of
the song.  I'll try to find out.

Ryan introduced his next song by saying it was about an environmentalist
name John Muer  (sp.) - at least he was an environmentalist before he died.
John would go exploring and stay in a cabin to write about it.  He'd stay in
during inclimate  weather, and go out in good weather.  But one day he got
the crazy idea to go out in the middle of a terrible storm.  He just decided
to face it and ride the storm out.

Mitch said some real nice things about his Grandma - how he loves and
respects her; and doesn't want her to worry about him when he's on the road.
I can't remember everything he said about her.  He said she's 80 years old.
I guess I just got sidetracked thinking about my Grandma (who's 92, still in
good health, and living with us) and Steve's Grandma (who's 90, still living
independently in Florida.)  Our kids are so blessed to not only know, but
know WELL, their great-grandparents.

Mitch reminded us that Christians are to help people in need - no matter
what it costs.  We are to put others first - even above our own needs, and
even when it doesn't make sense.

Ryan then sang his song about riding the storm just to feel the wind.  He
said it is for John Muer (sp.)   [The song is not to be confused with REO's
Riding the Storm Out, but I may just have to get it out and pretend to
subtract 20 years from my life.  Hehe, haha.]

Brad said, "Thanks, Ryan.  It's fun to work with Ryan.  We grew up together.
So it's always good to see him."

Mitch said it's been quite a last couple of years.  He spoke very briefly
about the accident.  He said, "I've come a long way since then.  I wrote
this next song with Rich.  We didn't write it for me to record.  We wrote it
for him to record, but my record company wanted it to be on my album.  I
like doing it in concert, because I remember writing it with him."  (My

Mitch reminded us that we are called to place others above ourselves.  He
likes to help people, because he likes to see Jesus in their smile.

Mitch listed some who will not get into heaven.  I couldn't write fast
enough and decided to get the list straight from Galatians 5:19-21.  My KJV
lists adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry,
witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions,
heresies, envyings, murderers, drunkenness, revellings, and such [the] like.
My NIV simplifies the understanding:  sexual immorality, impurity and
debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of
rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies,
and the like.  Mitch said, "Does that leave anybody out?  I think that
pretty much covers everyone.  So, we're screwed - not matter how you look at
it.  But thank God for Jesus.  He died for you.  We've become so calloused,
because we've heard it so much.  But think about it.  Let it sink in.  He
DIED for you.  So there's no difference between me and the homosexual, me
and the drunk guy, me and the adulteress.  We're ALL riding on Jesus' coat
tails.  Do not EVER think you're gonna get there on your own coat tails.

Mitch said they had just been in Minnesota where everyone is so fouled up
over the comment that their new governor made about religion.  Jesse Ventura
made this 'bold' statement that "religion is for the weak."  Mitch said,
"I'm like, Duh!!!!!"  (laughter)  "Religion IS for the weak. Thank GOD for

They did The Lemonade Song.  Mitch said, "It was fun tonight.  Thank you."
Ryan said, "Mitch has CDs that are $13, but worth $27."  And Brad said, "And
Ryan has CDs that are pretty dandy, too."  Everyone laughed at Brad calling
Ryan's CDs "dandy."

We had a blast!!!!  I got a chance to pray with Ryan and Mitch.  I had told
Mitch that  Chris leads us regularly in cyber-prayer.  I talked with Ryan a
little about Atlanta.  I told him my brother lives there.  He said he'll be
playing there the day after Thanksgiving; so if you live nearby, go see him.
The detail is on his website, http://www.ryanlong.com

I met a couple from Oklahoma.  Can you believe it?  They drove all the way
here just for the three-day event.  I gave them our Raga-friends List
address and told them if they were current "members" (hehe), they'd surely
get some sort of consolation prize for driving so far.

We had a blast!!!  

Love in Christ,
Robin Woodson

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