What a couple of weeks! We are still reeling from Sunday's People's Poetry at The Rat, where poets read and shared, and left us all wanting more. It ran way past the 2 hours set aside for this, and we would have gladly kept on reading, listening, sharing. Don't miss July's session (it's the 3rd Sunday of EVERY month)! And from there, Pete and I kept going, kept planning: we have been busy finalizing our plans for our "official" grand opening, which in fact is a celebration of The National Hotel's 160th anniversary! Oh yes, 160 years since the building was re-built into its current size, structure and entity. Should we mention that it was a stagecoach stop and brothel before that??? Nah, another day...
Well, on July 3rd, we are going to host The National Palooza, from noon to midnight, celebrating, commemorating, remembering and just enjoying a special day of live music, food, drinks, and dancing-under-the stars. Call us at 908.996.3200 or click here to find out more about this special day or how to get your tickets. A portion of the proceeds will go to benefit the annual Frenchtown National Night Out.
But there's so much already planned...stay tuned for another blogpost on our Farm to Table fundraising dinner (TONIGHT!!), to benefit the Hunterdon Land Trust, our remaining musical performer line-up from now to the end of June, and our July Dinner Theater--3 Sundays filled with the arts!--together with Frenchtown's own River Union Stage. How's that for having the community "take over" The National Hotel with their plans, their vision, their artistic expression. And Pete and I are more than willing to host these events. Our pleasure--a tremendous grateful "thank you" from both of us to YOU!
Music is something that has become an integral part of our establishment. If you have been in attendance during one of our weekly Thursday Open Mic Night sessions, or our Sunday Musical Afternoons, you know to what I refer. We've been so blessed with the talent that has come to The National Hotel. Week after week, we are honored to host different musicians expressing themselves and sharing their talent with our community. For instance, Chuck Schaeffer and the Chuck Wagon played their rockabilly unique sound, truly foot-stomping music, in April, and we had Teri Rambo back again as well as the Dennis Thatcher Trio return for another performance, along with Ray McGeehan, and Jeffrey Fadden & Lori Ingwerson in May. So many wonderful musicians. Let's not forget The Jericho Mountain Grass ("The Grass") that returned yet again to The National Hotel, or Jay Wilensky playing with Marie Trontell, back in April. And June has also graced us with other performers, including Dan McCluskey and the Tom Hyland Trio. We greeted our dedicated patrons and made friends with new folk who came from far away just to listen to their music. And no wonder these groups have a following!
Here is just one of the many webclips of their music, that I'll soon share on another blogpost.
I'm working to finish up the editing of several other webclips...worst part of it all...b/c there is so much that can be shown, but youtube wants clips to be under 10 minutes! Still, I love reliving the experience, watching them again & again. Wait for Chuck's and other clips...Aren't they wonderful? And they performed just in time to accompany that Sunday afternoon hour that lends itself to a "slowing down" of our lives, a "let's-enjoy-Sunday" hour. And they didn't disappoint. Week after week, the musicians who have performed have lifted spirits, created joy, and helped us all escape from our daily grind if even for just those couple of hours. What a treat!
I recently got this email from Pete's cousin and had to share it...doesn't it sound like something that Kasey, Donna or Tobi might say to this individual--and actually help? Yeah...that's what I thought (and no disrespect intended to all those mental health practitioners who are our patrons...or those who are members of my own family):