The joint was jumping tonight, folks stopping by for pick up pizza, wine and dine at the tables, with some familiar folks stopping by and new crew of curious people.
It was loud early on, but that’s okay – I get to play. I work on stuff I’ve had kinks in, refresh myself on some of the newer material, stretch on other stuff, play the mandolin and troll for tips. Tips. Somehow it’s all worth it, or, at least, beginning to be. It’s a good hour of crank it up and seed the crowd. Scattered applause. I know who you are.
Things boiled down to a couple of groups of folks, one a large table for 12 or so. Knowing the kids were out of the room, I did The Irish Ballad, Tom Lehrer’s classic, acapella, which always changes the dynamic of the room. People listen, catch the ‘clap’ and the humor. It’s an incredible hook for the folks to keep at least one ear open for the rest of the night.
I actually got out several of my old bar bawdy songs I haven’t done in public for several years. I did Cuckoo’s Nest, one I’ve noodled with at the Celtic Jam at GDs and then took a quantum leap with The Dogs’ Meeting from Skiffle Band days (I nailed it!) and followed with The Vasectomy Song (really, really close…). The adult audience snapped it up. It’s been a long time. The quantities of wine that they drank helped a bit. Almost a bar gig….
Towards the end, I broke out I Saw Her Standing There, one RockRoots uses in the show, knowing I needed a good singalong to help me finish up my two hour set. One Greek gentleman from the group was walking back from the lav when he started dancing to this Beatles’ tune, and he was killing it. Some very nice Greek folk dance moves that were really good. The friends at the table loved it. I loved it.
The kicker of the deal (I learned later) was that this gentleman is quite unassuming, often at the outskirts, socially, with this group. He is Greek, owns land in Greece, and is recovering from a divorce. Tonight, he had a moment in the spotlight among his peers. I also noted that Greek men are much more in tune with male social dancing, unlike our uptight American dudes. It was a natural thing for him to do. I learn something in the strangest of circumstances.
I did well in compliments and tips. A veggie wrap to go, a croissant for breakfast and a nice loaf of artisanal bread. The Bakery always is a surprise, provides a developing audience, practice time and some space to play.