I jumped at the chance to open for David Mallett at a nice house concert series along the Delaware River in Foul Rift. My friend Brian runs these very homey, potlucks and concerts on an occasional basis. I haven’t had many gigs in the last few weeks so I was eager to play in front of listening folks. This was perfect.
David is, of course, a world-class writer from Maine, with 10 years time in Nashville, and delivers great songs, tunes with a seasoned voice. He and his bassist Mike Burd rolled into the house festivities while I was figuring out the sound system. I hit it off with Mark and Dave and had some great conversations over the three hours. Guitars, the Biz, CDs, etc.
I had the opening set at 3 pm and aimed for 25 minutes. I started out with Don’t Call Me Early and it got folks’ attention and got them singing. This audience was well trained, for sure. I followed with Giants and encouraged two gents unlucky enough to sit in the front to play Thunder Tubes. Good stuff.
I decided to break out the Mando for Voodoo Chile/Irish Spring and was a little put off by a slightly out of tune G and a little rust in the left hand. I tried to avoid the clunker but made me think too much. It was fine, but I knew better.
I got back to the guitar for Lessons and struggled with the tuning there as well and didn’t nail the first verse as well as I could have. It flowed from there and finished with Rosie. Again, I could have played it better. I thanked the folks and made room for David and Mike.
David did two fine sets and it was great to see him perform again after 25 years and good to see Mike work with David’s fluid sets of first rate songs. They were kind enough to invite me up for the second half of the second set to play mandolin. I was really glad to have my capo ’cause David moves around to some un-mando keys. His songs were deceptively tricky while sounding quite accessible. I found my niche and listened a whole lot. I added some nice percussion.
Afterwards it was fun to hang out and talk shop, Martin Guitars, Godfreys, family and more. David said I was a great opening act and that felt good. Still not prime time but good at doing this well. It was nice to be fellow musicians performing for these folks. It’s a pretty interesting folk circuit.
Here’s a great song from David Mallett: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpMNOCoMf_0