I signed up for this one in honor of the songwriting prowess of a friend I’ve known for years on the folk circuit, Michael Jerling. He’s from Saratoga Springs, NY, home of Cafe Lena, birth place of my emergence and awareness of the folk scene when I was a college student. Michael is a superb writer and I’ve covered a couple of his tunes including his opener tonight ‘Blue Heartland’ and his ‘Evil Twin’. He doesn’t hesitate to play pithy and poignant songs about the small events that bind us as fellow humans, and I thought his set tonight was evidence of his talent.


Tony Markellis sat in with Mike on bass and is a world class bassist – fretless, no less. He’s been here with Rosalie Sorrels, Tom Mitchell, Paul Siebel, Burns Sisters and is a class act. Last week he played with Trey of Phish in front of 25,000 people and he’s here tonight in front of 10. A mighty fine man in my book.


I tried to boost Michael’s September appearance on FB and my radio shows on WDIY and thought that my opening for him would attach some significance to his show here tonight. Well, welcome to the Lehigh Valley. Two regulars, three women on a ‘night out’ and Michael, Tony and me. Cliff on sound, Sarge at the counter and Ramona.


It’s really hard to play for so few people but I tried my best, and I realized how hard it was for Michael. Damn. This folk music biz is a bitch.