Saint Peter's BakeryI look forward to this small gig at a hip pizzeria in Berks County. In spite of the fact that I play for tips, I get to exercise my adult folk repertoire in a small venue. Tonight was particularly small with only a few groups of folks on hand, though familiar with me and my style. That made it all worth it. I could play what I wanted. I did.

Early on, I got to play my favorite Christmas songs Zat You and Mary Had a Baby. They are a gas to play and a welcome return to my repertoire. A fellow mandolinist Tom Marks dropped in as I was playing so I was glad to have a particularly good set of ears to play for. I did a bunch of songs I thought he’d appreciate (Voodoo Chile on mandolin) and then invited him up to play mandolin with me. (No brainer!) He spent the rest of evening figuring out my music on my mandolin. (Yes, I got to hear my mandolin in front of me!!)

It was a slow night but sharing my music with Tom among these familiar faces, far from 4th Street, was good for my soul. My Martin sounded great and is always a treat to play. I love my repertoire. I particularly like the challenge of figuring out what songs two friends can play together. The trust that we established at several open jams in Boyertown years ago (we were the only mando players…) was instantly re-established when we started out. Tom did a great job listening and finding places to add his fine chops on mandolin. He has my continuing respect for his musicality. Yes, it was pretty amazing, yet, still, quite commonplace nowadays.

As it was a slow night, we were able to close up early, chat about grandchildren, gather my tips, carry my stuff to my car and head out. I got some decent $$ for a slow night, the waitress and staff thanked me (I tried to tip her but she refused), and was able to get back to Godfrey’s to catch the last 5 minutes of Zen for Primates, and get to write about it. Full circle for me.