I went to my third backyard music and barbecue yesterday at Roy and Lucy McAlister’s home. Remember how enchanted I was the first time? It’s like that every time. Roy McAlister is a luthier, and consequently knows a lot of musicians. He and Lucy host a gathering every summer at their home, where they invite neighbors, celebrities, local stars, old friends and brand new friends to take the stage and perform for all of us lucky people who are invited. The music is always exceptional. The people who show up – every single soul – are always exceptional.
We’ve had an unusually hot and dry summer here along the coast of the Pacific Northwest. Day after day of temperatures in the 90s have finally dried out the earth to dust and much of the greenery has yellowed. So in between two solid weeks of clear blue skies and 90-degree temps, there was one day – a single day – of rain in the forecast. Any other day we would be cheering for the much-needed rain, but instead we remarked about the bad timing. And then… we appreciated the rain a little bit anyway, because we live here and have made peace with rain.
It intermittently poured, then broke up and splashed sun on us – teasing us and getting our hopes up – then started pouring again, for hours. We fretted about the electronic equipment under plastic sheets, hoping nothing would get ruined, hoping there would be a way to have an outside concert eventually. And yes, around 6pm the clouds began to break apart in earnest. By 7pm it had cleared up for good and people moved permanently out of the house. We sat on wet lawn chairs and got ready to be delighted.
A series of fabulous musicians took the stage!
Andre has been a beloved friend for years. We met through a mutual friend and musician, Marcus Eaton. In fact, it’s because of Andre that I received my first invite to McAlapalooza in 2015. Andre plays with Diana, and so she made the journey from the TriCities to be here tonight. I loved her of course.
As I watched Save the Bees, Andre gestured to me from the other side of the lawn to follow him and John Resch up the hill to Roy’s shop. When I arrived he announced, “This is my new guitar.” We admired the nearly-finished instrument (missing accessories like a pick guard and strap button) that Roy has been making for him. It’s a sister to Marcus Eaton’s guitar, that stirred up so much excitement in 2015. Andre humbly handed it to John, who tuned it and played a few pieces, and then Andre finally got to hold his new baby.
Diana showed up a little later and played it too, Jerry and Terry Holder stopped in to watch the delight settling over Andre. Terry showed us her mostly-built ukulele that Roy is making. Then Andre played while Diana sang, and I was a quiet, wide-eyed witness to musicians simply reveling in the joy of making music.
I had been stuffing myself with food all evening. That’s one of the fun things about McAlapalooza: guests trickle in from 3 to 8, and everybody brings something: salads, blueberry tarts, roast potatoes, noodles, fresh vegetables, cake, and artichoke dip. The grill was fired up and then chicken and sausage appeared. Every time I walked into the house, a new dish had found a place on the table and I had to sample it. It was late, and dark, and I was tired and full of delicious food and wine. I missed the final act, James Anaya, and climbed into the Jeep and set the GPS for home.
8 thoughts on “Gig Harbor music scene”
Thank you for coming and sharing our day. Love the article and your photos! So great to see you again!
Great to see you, as always, Lucy. You two have such a skill with making people feel loved and welcome. I am grateful to get on your invite list ❤
Sounds like a great time. My sis used to live in Gig Harbor. What a beautiful spot! Adding music and good food to that beauty…what could be better?!?
It’s great to hear from you again! Yes, it was a perfect evening, even with the rain. Gig Harbor is lovely. So glad you can picture it, because it’s hard to describe what a nice spot this is. You are right: it was a recipe for goodness.
That sounds like a wonderful way to spend an evening. The food alone would call me but adding music to it makes it soulful. 🙂 Glad you had a good time.
Marlene, I somehow missed your comment from last year and I’m looking at my old post because it’s getting close to party time again! Yes, the food that shows up is always mouth-watering. The mini music festival is particularly wonderful because the artists are usually friends of the family, so that adds a warm fuzzy to the mood, and Roy and Lucy are so obviously happy when they introduce people.
It was great to see you again. Thank you for sharing your kind words and photo’s!
Terry I am flattered that you always remember me when I show up. I have loved your energy since the day I met you. I look forward to seeing more of you both in the future. Hugs.