Ladies and gentlemen, with no further addieu (addoo? aidooo?), I present the DP Best of 2006 Awards!
Top 5 Gigs of 2006;
5) Moonlight Music Café - Birmingham, AL 4/15 - Opening for Lucy Kaplansky. This was both a great gig, as well as my last time playing at this wonderful venue in B'Ham. Keith H. put his heart and soul into this venue, and made one of the best listening rooms in the Southeast. He had to close his doors this fall, and I will greatly miss him and the Moonlight.
4) O'Susanna Concerts - Blytheville, AR 11/18 - Something about the setting, on a cold winter night in a small town in Arkansas. A small locally-owned bookstore with a wood stove and wooden folding chairs signed by 15 years worth of authors and musicians. David and Susie have done a great job of establishing a concert series in a place you would least expect it.
3) Vanilla Bean Café - Pomfret, CT 9/16 - Opening for Pierce Pettis. Pierce is one of my all-time favorites, so it was quite a thrill to open for him at this charming venue in Connecticut.
2) Acoustic View House Concert - Byron, MN 4/28 - Mike and Stacy started their house concert series after seeing me at Acoustic Ave. House Concert in 2005 (see best of '05) They did a great job in only their 2nd house concert, and had a full living room of about 30 folks.
1) Canyon House Concerts - Phoenix, AZ 12/1 - Absolutely wonderful house concert series in the Sonora Desert of Arizona. A sold-out crowd of 70 packed in, and what a great, receptive audience! Many thanks to Jeanne and John for all their work in putting on the show.
Honorable Mention; Cousin Andy's - Carbondale, IL, Preacher's House Concert - Auburndale, WI (a 2005 Top 5), Prairie Grapevine Folklore Society - Springfield, IL, Mozaic Room - Avon, MA opening for Kate Campbell, Hattiesburg Public Library - Hattiesburg, MS, Daily Grind - Murphy, NC, split gig with Greg Adkins, Cherry Creek Arts Festival - Denver, CO.
Best Tour of 2006; April Midwest Tour - Started out in Hannibal, MO (hometown of Mark Twain), then headed up for a weekend in Appleton, WI for a conference at Calvary Chapel Appleton. I stayed that weekend with the Vanderloops, who make the list of 10 nicest people of 2006. From there, I played at Preacher's House Concerts in Auburndale, which after a great gig there in 2005, I wrote an all-time classic song, 'Punctual in Auburndale', noting how everyone was very on time for my concert. After a fun in-the-round show with Madison Songwriters, I headed off to Minnesota. There I played at Acoustic View House Concert (see Top 5 gigs), another very fun show in Cambridge, MN, where I was treated to a birthday 'Blue Ribbon Brownie' at Applebee's after the gig, and also performed at Book & Bean Café in St. Cloud.
Sideman of the Year - As you know, Rob Seals is my sideman, greatest sideman there is. But with Rob living in LA, we don't get the chance to play together much. This years award is a split-decision. The 2 winners are Rob Slocumb, of the duo, Martha's Trouble, and singer/songwriter Greg Adkins from Knoxville, TN. Rob sat in as part of the "Dave Potts Band" at this year's Summer Swing gig in Opelika and did a great job on backing guitar. Greg and I did 2 shows together this summer, and he learned piano parts to a couple of my tunes, which sounded great. We also did a in-the-round gig where we played together all night, and he jumped in and played on all kinds of tunes he'd never heard before. Greg and I will be doing a Midwest tour together this February.
Best concert I saw this year - Alison Krauss and Union Station at Columbus Civic Center in Columbus, GA. 1/19. Many kudos to my wife for surpising me with tickets for our anniversary.
Favorite new artist or group - I had a great year in meeting and hearing some great new artists. The winner of this award goes to Zane Williams. I met him at Kerrville, and was offended that he didn't win the New Folk Contest. Honorable mention for favorite new artist this year is Jud Caswell, who I also met at Kerrville. Luckily he was one of the winners of the New Folk Contest, so the judges were spared.
Best post-gig lodging - After a very nice, although laryngitis-plagued gig at Sounds of Grace Concert Series in Berryville, VA, I stayed at a wonderful Bed & Breakfast on the banks of the Shenendoah River.
Best radio station/DJ - Probably at this point should give a lifetime acheivment award to WDBX in Carbondale, IL - They won this award last year, so instead of going 2 in a row, we'll give them the LAA. And, the 2006 award goes more to the show 'Messages', hosted by Stu Weaver on WFCF, 88.5FM, St. Augustine, FL. He played the new CD nearly every week on his show after it came out in August, Thanks Stu!
Airline of the Year - And once again, the winner is AirTran! I took my guitar on 5 round trip flights, and was able to carry it on every time!
Best family event of the year - It's a 2-way tie; Barnum and Bailey's Circus, Feb. 15 in Atlanta, and the Alabama National Fair in Montgomery, Oct. 10.
Best half-family event of the Year - Christopher came with me to a gig in Fort Walton Beach, FL, and we spent a day together at the beach, and the swimming pool at the Marriott. About 2 seconds after he woke up, he said "where do you get breakfast around here?"
Best comment made after making a wish from breaking a Scandinavian cookie into 3 pieces (a highly sought after award) - Christopher Allan Potts on his second attempt at breaking the 'wishing cookie' into 3 pieces said, "Dinosaurs have just come alive" Dec. 21, 2006.
Dessert of the Year - It's ashame that I have never given this award before, and if I had I would be giving the Lifetime Achievment Award, as it would be the 3rd straight year for my wife's amazing Candy Bar Cheesecake!
Total Geek Day of the Year Award - I'm awarding myself with the geek day of the year for my first ever live fantasy baseball auction draft, held in Atlanta, April 2, 2006. Come on, Ryan Howard for $16? That's a steal!
Storm of the Year - Feb. 11th, I got snowed into Boston, after flying up to play at Mozaic Room Coffeehouse, I got stuck in one of the largest blizzards in the Northeast in the past 20 years. Luckily I had a wonderful place to stay, and spent a full day watching the Olympics and compiling stats to make fantasy baseball rankings. (speaking of geeks)
College Football Play of the Year - Auburn's blocking a punt, and Tre Smith diving into the endzone touchdown to defeat otherwise unbeaten Florida. Our house is about 2 miles from Jordan-Hare Stadium, and we could hear and feel the stands rocking from here.
NFL Play of the Year - Well, you know, the Browns pretty much sucked again this year, so I'm giving the 2006 NFL play of the Year to the 1989 Cleveland Browns, since I watched their highlight video this year, we'll go with Bernie Kosar's 97-yard touchdown pass to Webster Slaughter against the Bears on Monday Night Football, Oct. 23, 1989.
TV Show of the Year - The Office. It just keeps getting better and better. Incidentally, my booble-head of the year award goes to my Dwight Shrute bobble-head.
Movie of the Year - I apologize for this in advance. But, you know, I've got to be honest here. Millions of people are counting on me for my expertise and my thorough evaluations. As much as you might not want to admit it, you know it's true, the movie of the year was 'Talladega Nights - The Ballad of Ricky Bobby'. Come on, you know it was. This year's runner-up, perhaps a bit more legitimate is, 'Inside Man'.
Thanks for tuning in, Happy New Year, and I look forward to seeing y'all in '07. -Dave