I enjoy the challenges of every gig and I try to adapt to every one and take advantage of the situation.
Tonight was a busy night at St. Peter’s Bakery, an upscale small venue in the unique village of St. Peters. I play here every three months or so and I like to take note of the seasonal changes.
I got to the site with a hour to spare, found a parking spot across the street and availed myself of some meditation before the gig. I had time to ease into the gig, set up in my own time, say hello to folks who came out to see me (!!!), get my coffee and figure this one out. A good start to the night.
It was very noisy tonight so I had to kick back a notch and play backup to the room. That’s okay with me. I was able to play some stuff I wanted to play, get some applause from my friends in the room (important for me to gain the ear of the new folks in the room – hey, something’s going on here…) I blended a couple of songs together tonight – when I don’t have to wait for applause – so it was a good exercise in building medleys. These make good performance pieces.
My guitar roared tonight. I love playing amplified. It makes you play straight. New strings and a good sound on my little amp, clear vocal. That’s all I need.
As the night rolled on, I mixed in Gorka tunes, mandolin, R&R, Celtic, etc. It was nice to be free to wander through my repertoire. One lady said, towards the end, that it was nice to hear so many new songs. I also took time out to give a young girl my PB CD, and, as they were on their way out, the family paused near the door to listen to Giants and watch the little girl dance to the music. Nice moment and a nod from the dad when they left.
My good friend Nick Peetros (notice the spelling…) and his lovely wife came early and stayed the night. Nick is a world-class harp player, especially on the chromatic and has a great attitude about playing along. It was particularly noisy in the house tonight, so it was tough to find a spot for us to link up in the room. He is a gracious player but we found some time in the last half hour. It would be cool to have him sit in, but this is a tips gig, but I really I enjoy playing solo here. Still, I like us playing to the room and expanding the sound. It’s a cool thing to do.
There was one woman who was grooving from early on, there with her feller, but she was engaged with the music from the get go… She was dancing off to the side, and I was pretty amazed that she was singing along with Dixie Chicken, Louise, and others. At the end of the night, she said she grew up listening to her older brother to Bonnie Raitt (Louise) and Little Feat who played guitar. I agreed with her boyfriend that this was an extraordinary time for music. Anyway, it was interesting to play for an excitable woman.
I get to play for two hours in front (or in the midst) of an intelligent audience, practice my material live, continue to figure things out, rehearse, make a few tips (good night tonight) and mighty fine pizza to go in my fridge on a Friday night.