November 30, 2016 [LINK / comment]
FIVE more Open Mic appearances!
Earlier this evening, I had yet another Open Mic appearance with the Staunton Music Guild at Queen City Brewing. That makes six weeks in a row (including five this month), a personal best! I have been trying to improve my stage presence and vocal delivery technique by playing in public on a regular basis, since I am slated to provide musical entertainment at an upcoming Augusta Bird Club dinner. There's no substitute for practice and discipline. Unlike my last "monthly report" (October 27), I am presenting my song lists in normal (not reversed) chronological order.
On November 2, which happened to coincide with the start of Game 7 of the World Series, I did my part to boost the Chicago Cubs' cosmic karma by playing what has become the team's semi-official victory song. Since I only recently learned it was written by Steve Goodman, who died in 1984, I played the song for which he is most widely known. I then concluded with a song paying tribute to this country's democratic heritage [as Election Day approached] with an irreverent song by the early "shock rocker," Alice Cooper.
- "Co Cubs, Go" -- Steve Goodman
- "City of New Orleans" -- Steve Goodman
- "Elected" -- Alice Cooper
On November 9, I tried to leave behind the oddball songs of the week before and "return to my roots." I played the lead part well enough on "Take It Easy," but it just didn't meet my high level of expectations. [I chose that song in part to calm folks' nerves in the wake of the big upset election.] The next two songs came across pretty well, however. [Parts of "Tuesday Afternoon" are hard to sing, but I pulled it off.]
- "Take It Easy" -- Eagles
- "Tuesday Afternoon" -- Moody Blues
- "Heart Of Gold" -- Neil Young
On November 16, I paid tribute to Canada based on two important dates. November 10 was the 41st anniversary of the sinking of the cargo ship "Edmund Fitzgerald" on Lake Superior, so I played the song about that tragedy by Gordon Lightfoot, who is Canadian. The other two artists I covered are also Canadian, and I did OK on those songs. (Neil Young's birthday was November 12.) [For the "encore," I played an old tune that I saw in a Laurel and Hardy movie from the 1930s, and a rousing Beatles tune making use of the harmonica.]
- "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" -- Gordon Lightfoot
- "Constant Craving" -- k.d. lang
- "My My, Hey Hey" -- Neil Young
- ["On the Trail of the Lonesome Pine" -- Ballard MacDonald and Harry Carroll]
- ["I Should Have Known Better" -- Beatles]
On November 23, I played two songs that I learned way back in the 1970s, one that's sad and one that's irreverent. Then I did a very nice song (in 3/4 time, which is unusual) by the Ozark Mountain Daredevils (the first song of theirs I've done in several weeks) that I really only mastered a year or two ago.
- "Lonely People" -- America
- "Long-Haired Country Boy" -- Charlie Daniels
- "Out On the Sea" -- Ozark Mountain Daredevils
Tonight (November 30) it was raining, and hardly anybody was there when I arrived. But fortunately, people started coming in the door right about the time when I started playing. Fritz Horisk reminded everyone that it was the one-year anniversary of the first Open Mic night at Queen City Brewing. Each musician got to do two extra songs later on, since there were empty slots in the signup sheet. I played a beautiful song with "Melissa" in the title, and then a foot-stompin' rocker that was written by a Melissa (Etheridge). Not perfect, but both songs felt pretty good to me.
- "Helpless" -- Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
- "Love Me Do" -- Beatles
- "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" -- Green Day
- "Sweet Melissa" -- Allman Brothers
- "I'm the Only One" -- Melissa Etheridge
And so, I have updated my Music page with the latest set lists.