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Monday, May 12, 2014

The 20th day of Easter: Worker bees



5/9

Ending the night with Stay Awhile, as usual. John, Pat (behind RL), RL, Nick and Steve 


So good to have ETHEL back in the building. The quiet intensity of their music is both energizing and sustaining at the same time. At the end of their rehearsal, Ralph stops in, asks a big favor. Would like some of Angelo Romano’s angelitos. I ask why. After 15 years, Ralph has quit his job with the Lion King. Wants to focus mainly on ETHEL. And his own work See if that can be enough. Wants to give a small gift to those who gathered around to support him in that decision.

It’s a New York story. I once knew someone who had done over 1500 orchestra performances of Les Miz. He said, You get on the train at 5 heading to Time Square and the theatre. At 11:30, you’re on your way back home with no memory of where you’ve been or what you’ve done…Though it is steady work and pays the bills, there is a sense that you came to New York with a dream and have wound up in a musical assembly line. The soul dying a slow death.

Dennis from the Interfaith Assembly in with more papers to sign.

A full cadre of Revolutionary Communists has taken over the sanctuary. Like a buzzing hive of busy worker bees armed with vacuums, brooms, dust pans, mops, dust rags they are going over every inch making sure that everything is spic and span. Their innumerable questions are somewhere between annoying and endearing. But bottom line evidence of a desire to make sure that every i is dotted every t crossed, every base covered and detail accounted for. Dedication. Discipline. Should the revolution ever come, they’ll be ready.

John took us by surprise
Working to get information lined up for Noche to make their  proposal.

Finally time for another Open Mic. Once again, an open door and surprises. A young singer-songwriter, John, from Austin. Now teaching kids in Harlem. When he starts to sing, our ears suddenly are captured. RL pegs him as being somewhere between John Gorka and John Prine. Which from RL is a real compliment. Mandola and Pat do some fine work together. They’re thinking about putting the Original Buskers back together and inviting
Mandola apparently making a point
young Nick the banjo player to join them. Nick starts with a classical medley and ends with an original. Steve, another walk-in from the neighborhood, sits down at our road house honky tonk piano. The one Andrea brought to our house from her home and now to here. The one our kids learned on. He’s fully at ease and does a cabaret set that could easily play a midtown late night bar scene. As for mine, I detect a sense of bitterness in what I’ve got planned. Even though I’ve played it over six times back in my office, I start Dylan’s It Ain’t me Babe and hit a snag. Decide to let that one cook more and finish with Tonight will be fine instead. My voice feels better than my heart, which is why we do this. This time I gather the names. We need to keep building community. It’s fun to play to a full house, sending a voice out to engage with the audience and bringing it back again. Pat even puts in an evangelical word about people coming to
Cabaret artist Steve
hear me on Sunday mornings.

Ralph and his Lion King colleagues. The RCP crew. The open mic gang. Worker bees all.

























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