I had the chance to play Godfrey’s with two good friends, Ansel Barnum and Kris Kehr as a trio. We were snowed out in the winter, so it was good to give it another shot. I don’t get to play my adult stuff too often with other folks, so its a treat to have a lead (harp) and bass to fatten out the sound. And both lads listen first and play second. That’s rare.
It was a small crowd but came for various connections and we had good communication going. Ansel was great and appreciated by all. Funny though, because he had a gig in Philly at 11 pm, and had to split at 9:30. We did Pay Bo Diddley about that time, so he played and finished his solo, so I said to take off. Kris and I continued the song as he left to applause. I’ve never dismissed some one during a song before, but this was perfect. Kris then played a killer lead on the bass, and I leaned into the mike and said, “Ansel who?” Chuckles all around.
Kris is as good as it gets as a player sharing the stage. He doesn’t play bass in his other performing life (great guitar and mandolin, blues band, Garcia Grass, etc. …), but he helps me define my adult stuff: with my strong rhythm guitar and his bottom end, it’s a fat sound that makes it possible to lay down blues, bluegrass, acoustic rock with authority. No small thing in my mind.
Writer Scott Alarik opened the show with two pieces from his novel Revival, a spot-on book that nails the folk scene for me. (and I’m picky..) Scott played GD’s in the late 70’s and early 80’s as a singer/songwriter, so it was a trip in the ole ‘Wayback Machine’. Scott continues to write about the folk scene, and its so cool that he has found a valuable and unique way to contribute to ‘our’ way of life as folkies.
It’s nice to know that I can put on a good and ‘real’ show in a major folk venue. It still seems to be a secret, though.