I look forward to these two hour sessions at this upscale bakery/pizza parlor. I’m only booked every three months or so, but some folks plan on being there while others know that the music is consistently good. Either way, it’s a quality audience, though one that is there to eat, drink wine and socialize. So I have to make sure my volume is present but not overbearing.
Tonight was not as crowded as usual and there was less pressure to play to the crowd. I started off with Don’t Call Me Early and immediately a well-dressed gentleman asked for the Irish tune with the animals. Ack. Green alligators… I politely said I don’t do that song which is often a surprise to the person. I don’t do the favorites and I don’t like to be pigeon-holed after the first song. So it goes.
My friend Nick DePetros showed up with his lovely wife, a cooler of wine and his extensive harp collection. I asked him to join in with my set after they had had their food. He sat at a table nearby and played off mike. Nick has no fear on my tune selection and as we played, folks nearby picked up on what he was doing. It certainly made my night go faster.
I finished up at 9 pm, packed up my gear, a small bag of bread and croissants and my pizza to go, gathered my tips from my mandolin case and head back to Bethlehem over an hour away. It’s not a fancy or well-paying gig, but one I get to exercise my repertoire.