I had time to reboot from my afternoon gig in Pottstown with a brief nap, headed downstairs for my gig with Kris Kehr and Ed McKendry at Godfreys. A Saturday night at one of the premier folk clubs on the circuit!
Frankly, I know where I am on the feeding chart – a kind of nebulous area between national folk obscurity and a whiff of regional folk legend. Let’s just say, no one comes out to see my adult folk material. Outside of Ramona on counter/register and Lou on sound, nobody signed up in the GD community to volunteer. Nobody from the Open Mike. The paid audience was three couples, two solos, Ramona and Lou in the audience on a Saturday night. And this happens every time I play this club, in my home town.
The sad part is, this trio of friends is making some of the best music I’ve done in years on the folk side of the ledger. Ed’s leads and accompaniment are tuned in as can be and Kris’s bass provides the bottom as well as supporting my guitar/chordal structures, giving me room to work on the vocals, songs and presentation. We are exploring some great material I’ve developed from some old tunes (These Days, Rocket Launcher) to new tunes for me (Can’t Find My Way Home, Rumba Man, Rosie, Giant), all at ‘main stage’ performance levels.
Ed and Kris have opportunities to play an original tune, and we’re more comfortable backing each other up on mando and guitar. I look forward to developing more of their tunes and being able to step out of the spotlight.
The audience was great, Lou’s sound was quite comfortable and we just wanted to play. I was particularly glad to have the chance to play some of my edgier tunes like Smokin’ Babies and Rocket Launcher, along with a bunch of fun songs to play. Ed, Kris and I had our antennae up for two hours and the energy flowed really well. It was a pleasure.
I made fewer lyric mistakes than usual, still not perfect, but I had a good time singing tonight. First liftoffs on Rocket Launcher and Stan Roger’s Giant that proved insightful for future gigs.
It is hard to shake off the disappointment I feel every time I’m booked at my home club and the attendance is pitiful like tonight. But what buoys my spirit is the quality of my shows, especially with friends like Kris and Ed. We are making some amazing music among ourselves, and the few that show up know it.