This gig is actually a stretch for me. I gotta do sound, emcee, play and be the glue for the evening. I have to show up. Damn.
But I got friends. They got my back.
This Open Mike is a viable community on its own, with its twists and turns, personalities, vintage and contemporary. Sure, I do the stage stuff, but Mike, Mike and mike #1 make it happen. And particularly the players who constantly step up and do their best stuff. I remain in awe of all these folks who descend on this stage on a Sunday night on the SouthSide of Bethlehem… and for all these years.
I opened with Put Me In, Coach in homage to another Phillies’ dismal season. It’s a good song played well and hard, and it links me with my dad and PopPop, and the very real baseball linage I share with my son, Jaimie.
I followed with Legends by John Gorka. I don’t get to play this often enough. It’s a powerful song for me on so many levels: Stan Rogers, Godfrey’s, folk heroes and life-shaping musical experiences, in this very space. But John wrote a great piece of chording that I love to play on guitar. I love the key of E on guitar. Too bad I can’t play all those blues licks like I should. But it’s got a low E.
I was again knocked out by folks tonight, with some new faces, with proud parents in the audience, on stage. Even Earl made his debut on harp tonight. A mighty step. And Curt Lippe, from decades ago, making a return to our stage.
Actually, several players took up variations on ‘vintage’ and made the night more fun.
I wrapped up the night with Don’t Call Me Early in the Morning, and may have been the most spot on selection of the weekend. Good night.