Our sixth day on tour began a little earlier than I would have liked, as I awoke at 6.30am in order to reserve tickets for the newly-opened National Museum of African-American History and Culture. Some might say this system seems a little strange, but who am I to comment? In any case, it turned out to have absolutely been worth this relatively minor hardship, as the museum itself was really fantastic – genuinely one of the best I’ve ever been to. Do go if you get the chance (and have a reliable alarm clock). We also took in the Museum of African Art before making a return visit to Woodward Takeout Food for the Piggly Wiggly sandwich, which Ed and I had previously eaten when we were on tour here two years ago. It has definitely become larger in the meantime – so much so that Sam and Ed were unable to finish theirs, although obviously I saw mine off with room to spare.
We were soon back to the Seminary to rehearse for the evening concert – as the programme was the same as for New York, it was only necessary to top and tail a few items and cover a couple of issues – as well as get used to the acoustic, which was rather different to Friday’s. After a few post-rehearsal rounds of Doris-Ball, for which Stephen deigned to join us (he is surprisingly good at this sport) we had an energising dinner of meatloaf, vegetables and cake. The concert itself was very successful – we are by now very familiar with all the music and the whole thing felt particularly organic and fluid. It seems the audience felt the same way, as we received a standing ovation at the conclusion (making it two out of two so far) . A post-concert reception followed before we retired (not out) to the Seminary’s convivial bar.
The next day we drove all the way from Washington to Davidson, North Carolina. This was a rather long journey, which was temporarily improved by the discovery of ‘Fried Chicken Eggs Benedict’ on the menu at lunch, then brought back down to earth by the arrival of said dish. Ladies and gentlemen, I implore you, if you find yourselves at a Cracker Barrel in the near future – do not order this meal. Upon arrival in Davidson, Sam and I were taken out by our wonderful host to a lip-smacking barbecue joint and then on to a microbrewery where we drank beers with flavours such as a brown mocha, a sour lemon and mint, and a tropical IPA – a really excellent conclusion to a long day. Tomorrow – concert number three!