Thank you all so much for making the Dakota show on Oct. 29th one of the best musical nights I have ever had. The place was packed with your energy and I only wish I had taken pictures of the audience so I could post them now. I certainly will next time. This show based on the new album, is really about being ‘In the Nickelodeon’ or a little movie of different life elements and relationships and situations. My goal that night was to make it all come to life for the first time in the first live performance.
Each song is part of this story. I started the show alone on stage with just me and the piano to do ‘Someday You’ll Dance’, as it gives an intuitive insight into the whole story.
It was so great to do that song alone but to know that I had these great musicians coming up to play with me for the next songs and let me thank them all again for the amazing work they do – John Timmins, John Wojewode and Eric Brown. To me, my music now is all about the songs and these gentlemen add all the textures that the songs need. There could be more, there could be less, but to my ear and style, I like the simplicity that it has now. Banjo, harmonica, Blues slide guitar, Acoustic guitar, Dobro guitar, accordion, bass, sound effect here and there and vocals with lots of variation in the arrangements.
By the end of the second song which ends with the lines ‘ the world it is so beautiful, don’t let it go down this way’, I am well on my way to setting up the story I want to tell. The rest of the songs followed and each made their statement. I did ‘Daddy Ain’t Dead’ very early in the set which was a bit risky but it really worked well – little description of my sisters and I as adolescents on the old farm, coming home from school and my Mother asking us to go and find ‘Daddy’ in the barn who was not, after all dead, but just really drunk and then sitting on his knee and hearing his perspective of the situation. This is such a fun song, I wish there was a way to get it on country radio or something, but apparently they are as straight in Nashville now as they were 50 years ago. A friend of mine sent them a great song of hers which was about divorce and they sent her back a rejection saying that this was not something ‘people want to hear about.’
The stage at the Dakota is really cool but has a lot of backlighting which makes it hard to get pictures of whoever is playing. My photographer decided to take pictures of feet for a while as they were lit up so here are my feet, wearing actually my new dark green sort of cowboy boots, that I actually bought the day before the show. I’m sorry to say that I am a bit of a complusive shopper when under stress and I know I should never go into a store close to a gig date but I broke that rule. And I’m glad. I love those boots.
Also, here is a nice picture of the feet of John T, keeping rhythm as he plays. He is a modest man and chooses to wear running shoes for this performance. But they are very good ones.
John Wojewoda is viewed here and everything you can say is in the picture. John can look like a tough guy but has a gentle heart. When he played comedic sound effects on ‘Daddy Ain’t dead, holding his tiny viola, I think the visual is worth seeing over and over. Next time, I am going to get someone to do a live video with sound and we will put it on Youtube. I’m sorry I didn’t get a picture of the elusive Eric who was there and played beautiful bass lines on some songs and also did back-up vocals. Eric recorded the new album and has a fantastic ear.
I’m not going to go on and on about the songs and why they worked or how they work. Suffice to say that by the end of the show when the audience was singing along with ‘Nickelodeon’, there was a mood in the room of sheer possibility, of everything good, also of things sad but it doesn’t break you, and of connection with everyone there. I loved it and everyone and I thought this is the best I can do. Thank you.
One ot the partners took me back into the office and booked us for Jan. 21st, which is another Thursday night. I was very pleased that she appreciated the show. I would like to make this club sort of a home room for us. It’ a happening club and I need somewhere to play regularly so I can invite and grow an audience and also showcase. Now I am pursuing Folk Festivals for the summer gigs as they give you a lot of exposure to media and new audiences. I hope we might get a few.
So now comes the part where you leave the club and pack up all the stuff and carry the piano home. I usually dread being alone after a gig as good as this one because you can really crash. But wait! This time I have someone at home waiting for me! It’s my collie dog!
It was a warm, windy, a bit rainy night and Abby and I walked up and down streets for a long time. I went through the night and every song in my head many times and just really enjoyed it for once. I am creating good memories.
Lastly, now I’m back to work. I am researching traditional songs – Roots music that tell the story too, where I can use lots of banjo and blues guitar and see what we can do and create some new arrangements. We will get something together for the next show.
UPDATE: NEXT GIG AT THE DAKOTA IS ON THURSDAY, JANUARY 21ST. SHOW BEGINS RIGHT AT 8:00. Concert style one long set. Please put this on your calendars and hope to see you there.
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