Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Yes, we do have holy water


Setting the stage for Allison

An interesting conversation about potential foreign investors. Involves trading jobs for green cards, eyebrow raising but apparently has the approval of Homeland Security.  Amazing what being a property owner brings you.

And more interesting, a theatre group from France wanting to build a stage in the sanctuary and test their play which involves divorcees and cross dressing and is apparently the longest running comedy in France. I remind myself  that these guys had a mad thing for Jerry Lewis that I never quite got.  It could  prove beneficial for other theatre groups and even Noche. We’ve had quite a group here all morning, Jamie, Marsha, Don and Pat O.

I break to run up to West End for a negotiating session with our local police regarding our upcoming march on Martin Luther King, Jr. day, Monday.

Swamini answers all the questions Charles and I have about the proposed shelter for homeless women. She came to us because of our Occupy residency. I’m convinced we can do it and I like the idea of being in partnership with an ashram.

When I return, Karen is playing piano in the sanctuary and Arcadia is signing checks.

Soon enough, I’m on my way to meet RL at his luthier’s, the cold outside still bitter. His (not) Christmas present will soon be complete. And my 45 year old Epiphone will be ready to plug in and play for the first time in public since I started playing again.  Another circle complete.

At the end of the day, a young Latino is desperate for holy water. I try to explain our reality, then give up. His eyes pleading  more than his words. I take out my bottle of water from the Jordan, pour some drops out and prepare to anoint him. No, gracias, que no…he says, Pa’ mi madre…So it’s for his mother. Another problem. All I’ve got is a paper coffee cup and lid. I go away, fill it with filtered water and some Jordan drops. Go back, bless the water, bless him, hand him the cup. Mil gracias, padre, mil gracias..
Vaya en paz, I answer.  And with happy eyes, he is on his way. We do have  holy water. If only all problems were so easily solved.


An interesting night of Open Mic lies ahead. One of those weird, wild and eclectic nights that just go on. After RL, the night opens with Victoria Levy, from Woodstock, who it turns out has had one of those just under the radar long  running journey(wo)man careers. Once again, Victoria, an honor to have you with us. ( A new album on its way.
Victoria from Woodstock
Ben Ringer is one of those accomplished young guitarists who quickly found himself playing with Victoria and soon in demand by others in need of a solid lead.  His own music was just as solid. 
Ben Ringer

David Lyons, would win our MVP if there was such an award. He tends bar, jumps  into sound if need be, takes photos, runs a facebook page and week after week keeps honing his songs until he gets them right.  Without guys like David outside of the spotlight,  the magic doesn’t happen.
David Lyons and Nick

I now see that Borscht Belt throwback Peter Pan is bringing his shtick back every week and it    is    actually    getting    better. Once can almost imagine him opening at some long shuttered Stephen Kingian Shining in the Catskills ghost resort.
Peter Pan

The real highlight to the evening  is the appearance of retired professional actress Allison H, known as Harvey by RL for her appearance in that play. She’s made it out for the first time this year for a throwdown  to Mandola Joe with the Shooting of Dan McGrew by one of Mandola's favorites, Robert Service And Mandola has dragged his own (self-described) weary bones out of the house to catch her performance. RL caringly sets the stage for her. And she does not disappoint.  Mandola’s combination of harrumph and smile the best review one could  ask for.

Joel of course..without Steve Blane on  a six week Florida  hiatus…takes us on another timeless journey through (at least) space and time with his own throwback (way back) spoken word improv.
Joel Gold
Pat O continues to perfect is set for his Great Open Mic Tour of 2015 learning more about his pedals every week.
Pat O on his pedals
Young Nick Lantigua and his banjo are back and we marvel at what its been like watching him grow in a circle of supportive mentors who love to have him play along  with David Lyons.
Nick Lantigua
Tall Sam Brian brings his aw shucks woodyarlodylan delivery to a poignant song involving a truck stop an waitress and a Super 8 Motel. 
Sam Brian

I plug in my own Epiphone and get two-thirds of a good set before stumbling on Ripple. Pat jumps in to save me, but I struggle to regain my musical feet. They deceptive not a simple as it sounds intricacy of Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia has defeated me, but I will be back.

David Smyhthe leads the soundboard to rock is back through the ‘80’s again.

Orisha Lucky is the last surprise of the night. Although RL tries  to link him with oddly named 3rd world dictators, (Goodluck Johnson), he’s got the name of an Afro-caribbean  Yoruban spirit. And it is his given name. He’s onto new school r&b and rap and has his new cd, Times Square Money. ( 
Orisha Lucky

Country Joe is back with his one-two punch of Roger Miller’s King of the Road and Goin to Kansas City. He’s got stories from the road and Pat O backing him and always looks like he’s on another stage somewhere else. 
Country Joe and Pat O

By the time RL brings us home with Stay Awhile with Pat O and Nick, and just for kicks with my old Epiphone back, I play along instead of my xydeco tie or my guacharaca. well by then we’ve been through a musical time capsule of many decades and come out on the other side.

All that’s left is to wake up Geoffrey and head to the Gate.

Reading back through all this, I hear RL in his best Jimmy Stewart voice,  Well, I've wrestled with reality for 35 years, Doctor, and I'm happy to state I finally won out over it.

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