August 30, 2017
(Here goes yet another woefully-late blog post...) On July 23, I had another musical gig at Bedlam Brewing, following up on the HUGE (?) success of my first gig there on June 4. (See my June 30 blog post.) This time it was in the nice, cool indoors, and it went from 6:00 until 8:00 rather than 4:00 to 6:00. (Actually, I lost track of time and kept playing for about ten minutes past 8:00.) Once again, I was very grateful that so many of my friends from the Augusta Bird Club showed up. There were a few from Emmanuel Episcopal Church as well, but there was a schedule conflict with a church event taking place at almost the same time.
Whereas last month, I only managed to play 24 out the planned 32 songs, this time, I planned on 28, and that's how many I played. I had a fairly realistic estimate of how many songs I could within the allotted two hours. There was a problem with the sound volumen, however, even though I had done a sound check before I got started. I had already finished one-third of my set list before someone sitting in the back came up and told me that they couldn't hear much of what I was playing. Argh-h-h-h!!! Next time, I will make darned sure the volume is loud enough to reach the back! So, on request, I played Neil Young's "Heart Of Gold" for a second time so that everyone could hear it. I changed the order of songs slightly, however, and substituted one Eagles song ("The Long Run") for another ("Witchy Woman"). What follows is the actual set list:
People really seemed to enjoy it, and one guy even told me I played the song "Found Out About You" even better than when he heard the original group (the Gin Blossoms) play it in concert! So, I was asked to come back and have scheduled future shows for Sunday, September 24 and Friday, November 17. I make a point to avoid repeating songs that I have played before, but I will probably do some of the Pink Floyd songs again, since the volume was too low this time.
On a separate note, I should congratulate the owner of Bedlam Brewing Mike McCrackin for a successful first eight months in business. They serve great food and a wide variety of tasty malt beverages. The Augusta Bird Club has held its monthly "Birds 'n Brews" social hour there more than once, and it has become an active part of the community here in Staunton. I even bought a Bedlam Brewing T-shirt!
Since my last blog post about music, two months have elapsed, so here's a quick review of what I played in public. At the Queen City Brewing Open Mic Night on Wednesday, July 5, I paid tribute to the 241st birthday of the U.S.A. with an unusual song about the country.
The next week, on July 12, I shifted toward country music, with a song I recently learned ("Luckenbach, Texas") and two others that I have known for a while but never quite had it right until recently.
On July 19, I played two more Eagles tunes, the first of which alluded to my impending train voyage out west. (More about that soon...) In years past, I was never able to make "Witchy Woman" sound right, until I used the harmonica with it a couple months ago. I didn't quite reach the level of excellence I was aiming for on that one, however, as it's a little tricky.
After returning from my big trip, I played three songs at the August 9 Open Mic event that I had seen one of my favorite groups perform in concert on July 29: the Ozark Mountain Daredevils! (Much more on that later!) The first and last songs I played were the first and last songs played by the actual group in their show, and the middle one was one of their only two hit singles (1974). Surprisingly, I only learned to play "Jackie Blue" all the way through this summer.
On August 17 I played at a different open mic venue for the first time: Barrenridge Vineyards, located a few miles northeast of Staunton. This first song was a tribute to Elvis Presley, who died on August 16, 1977 -- 40 years ago. Then I played a song about my growing up ("Small Town") and a song aimed at countering the hatred in the Charlottesville protests earlier this month ("Get Together"). (More on that soon!)
A week ago on Wednesday (August 23) the weather was perfect, the crowd size wasn't very big, unfortunately. My first three songs were inspired by Monday's solar eclipse.
And tonight, finally (August 30), my musical theme was torrential rain and hurricanes, although the second one ("Bad Moon Risin'") could be interpreted as about eclipses and hurricanes. I played: