Saturday, July 19, 2014

On Friday nights, you just never know


Mindy and RL

The block in the office door is getting more and more difficult to open so handyman David S is on the case to fix it.

A young woman and man with  a keyboard come in to audition for Berik. He’s got live music at every opening now.

Ravi from the Interfaith Assembly comes in to ask what upcoming interfaith events we might have happening. I tell him about the Hiroshima event coming up in August. And he shows me the video of my talk at the Assembly’s most recent action on the City Hall steps. Ravi did video of everything. Still photos too. 

Late in the afternoon, an older couple comes in. They're interested in the church. And maybe Open Mic. I give them the standard tour and we talk. Turns out he’s Presbyterian clergy too. But a professor at Knoxville College, one of our historically black colleges. And she plays the violin. They decide to stay. They are soon joined by a man with kind of a biker guy thing going on. He’s here for the Open Mic as well. 

Matthew Brady
The show opens with Matthew, who despite his biker look, plays a decent guitar and sensitive original songs. Then he surprises us by inviting up his new friend, Mindy from Tennessee, to play fiddle with him. She starts off slow, then gets his song and goes full fiddle on. And there are smiles and laughs all around and RL says that’s why we do this.

In Mindy’s own set, she treats us to Tennesee’s state song, Rocky Top, then invites Matthew up to play with her. You just never know what’s going to happen. And of course, RL invites her up to join in with him.
Mindy and RL
We’re clearly giving her a great vacation story. David L keeps stepping out further each week. Mandola Joe does one killer of a recitation of Casey at the Bat in honor of the All Star game. Pat O brings his original about old soldiers out again and Joel has another improv journey through his spoken word. 

I’ve waited until my friend Beppe arrives. It’s one last visit for us before he takes off for Sardinia. I’ve changed my set list three times, finally settling for one that could involve Mindy, but it’s late and she and her husband leave before I get up, so one more recalculation. I start off with my Queen of the Factory Town song, then my New Mexico song, then finish with the Fred Rose classic made famous by Willie Nelson, Blue Eyes Cryin’ in the Rain. As I leave the stage, RL says Thay was a fine performance of that song, and I thank him and he says, Did you hear that? And I say yes. Back in the early ’80’s, Tulsa’s most popular disco place always played that at 2AM as it’s closing song after and a night of Bee Gees, KC and the Sunshine Band and whoever else was disco hot in those days. Roy Acuff sang it first. Also Hank Williams. And Elvis. But Willie owned it.

One more surprise. Marie M has arrived. Known as Monday Marie for our every Monday night gig at the Gate, a hymn  juke box who can play virtually anything you can name, plays a set of originals. Which I’ve always wanted to hear her do. She too, complements both my factory town sing, says it could be in a movie, and my Blue Eyes. After hearing her so many Mondays and sharing  an after show drink with her and RL, I feel good that she recognizes me as a player too.

We’ve got a hip hop artist, Wavy Don, who is far and away the best rapper we’ve ever had. 
Wavy Don
And then RL coleuses, as always, with Stay Awhile. And it’s time to head to the Gate for a studied review of the evening.

Some day when we meet up yonder,
We’ll stroll hand in hand again
In the land that knows no parting

Blue eyes crying in the rain.

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