I talked Ron Anthony to make the trek up to Manchester for the Friday Folk at Cheney Hall. Trainwreck Jerry was going to be in da house, so I thought I could reconnect with Ron and Jerry, and play for the folks, too. As prestigious as Cheney Hall is, the open mike is fairly pedestrian with too many folks (in my over-developed tastes) reading the lyrics. Indeed, there is a need for community development and access, but its hard on the artistic/quality presentation of folk music. Especially with the theater creds of Cheney Hall. There’s the rub.
Ron, Jerry and I were later in the evening, and folks played and split before we came on. Unfortunately its the state of the art with some open mikes. Understood. But I wonder how the new players are going to learn from us old farts if they play and leave. Oh, my fragile ego.
Anyway, I did two songs, Don’t Call Me Early, and It’ll Be Me. Oddly, there was a Egyptian sarcophagus next to the stage (theater people, who knows…) so I set up a mike on Tut and said we’ll see who sings better, the Mummy or the audience. I laid it on the line.
Don’t Call Me Early insists on a sing-along, and I was the pushy PA performer. The Mummy won the semi’s. But the folks caught on, of course, and it kicked. I even saw Ron and Jerry chuckling in the distance.
I surprised myself by doing the slow blues It’ll Be Me, to take it somewhere else, slow it down, work on the great lyrics and a really understated guitar. It was good.
Ron followed, and I sat in on mando on The Torch. Ron is considered CT Folk Royalty, and deservedly so. My very good friend.
Jerry followed with his impeccable picking (nice turn of a phrase there) on moon songs, celebrating the passing of Neil Armstrong, … some would say the last American Hero. Great set, but close to too many major 7ths in one set for me. We talked later.
And we did, later over some food. Though it added on to a long, long day of driving three hours, playing three hours, two songs… it was worth the effort to play and reconnect with my CT roots. My acoustic family….
Saturday morn at 9 in West Hartford.