An Evening with the Oyster Crackers

The Oyster Crackers – Photo by Tucker Wachsmuth 

Polished!  Professional!  Profound!  My thoughts about yesterday’s House Concert are brimming over with adjectives and superlatives.  And a deep feeling of peace.  I wish I could adequately describe their harmonies, their costume changes and choreography (right down to their music stands!), and their obvious enjoyment of their music and of one another.  It was probably one of those you-had-to-be-there things.

Rita Smith and Her Grandfather’s Button Accordion – Photo by Tucker Wachsmuth

Three local women with disparate backgrounds and experiences:  Rita Smith, Bette Lu Krause, Christl Mack.  Together they are the Oyster Crackers.  Their voices gently glide and spiral around one another, carrying the listener to places of possibilities and contentment.  “What is it about them?” I found myself thinking.  Is it that they are the embodiment of grace and womanhood?  Are they what the suffragettes and feminists would like to be?

But… there was no pronouned (and certainly no strident) message here.  No aim to point out anything – at least not that was obvious or that came to me as I listened.  “Was it their sincerity?” I asked myself.  Perhaps their quiet commitment to the music and to the messages of the songs that came through loud and clear?  Or was it the songs, themselves?  Their choices spanned centuries and genres; some familiar, a few well-known, many obscure.  I wish I had taken notes or asked for their set list so I could think about those particular songs some more.

The Oyster Crackers in Red — Photo by Tucker Wachsmuth

I came away feeling blessed – that we had heard them do one, single number at a Music Vesper Service in 2017 and that I had asked them if they’d consider a House Concert sometime.  Blessed that their commitment and dedication led them from “only two or three songs” of a year ago to their full-blown, two-hour presentation (with instruments!) yesterday.  Here!  In Oysterville!  Absolutely Fabulous!

And before I forget, we all have another opportunity to enjoy them on Wednesday, October 17th at 7:00 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center in Long Beach!  See you there!

One Response to “An Evening with the Oyster Crackers”

  1. Eileen Gustavus says:

    Although living in Florida I was not able to attend this event. I have had several opportunities to hear them while visiting in Long Beach. Indeed these ladies are so talented and a joy to hear.

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