There is an uneasy freedom when nobody else shows at an open mic. It will likely cause urges to play songs long since forgotten, or that you always wanted to play but never even tried. Such was the case on May 2. A couple of old originals with a pinch of The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald by Gordon Lightfoot.
I skipped open mic last week to work on my forthcoming song, Thought Cop 2084. That’s in good shape and will be mixed within the next few days. I am going back tonight to see what’s up. If nothing else, I’ll pick some tunes and devour some pretzel-pecan french toast while pontificating about how to incorporate my newer body of work into my act. It’s either plug in the iPad, or arrange stuff on the guitar.
The shift in open mic hosting has opened up new possibilities as musicians from other neighborhoods drift in to Newbold from more crowded spots in Philly. As I work up some new songs and ideas, I’m still working through some comfortable oldies. The new piezo guitar pickup is still an anomaly for me, though the spot I recorded from this time yielded a pretty good sound. I will continue to practice, and I’ll get to some new stuff next time. (Which is tonight… Hmmm.)
I perform a few familiar tunes with a new hostess, Liz Starry. I committed a cardinal sin of live musical performances by cracking open my new piezo pickup moments before I went live. It was awkward, but it worked. Featuring I’m Gone, Other Half, and Redneck Vacation. Spoiler: No cajon.
Looks like there may be a bit more of a talent draw with the new hostess, who is plugged into the scene around Philly. Time to rock!
Though the seats were empty this time, we all managed to have tons of musical fun. After performing Gardens and Cobblestones with pals Phil (piano) and Tyler (cajon), Phil pushed my Tom Petty button, and we shared moments with Free Fallin’ and Breakdown. Then I capped my performance off with an acceptable performance of Possum Kingdom by the Toadies.
This open mic was an outlier. Along with a few comfortable tracks (Grass and Wine, Gardens and Cobblestones, Sweet Jesus, and Other Half), I would completely understand if you were to skip to the appended last song. It was a sweet improv blues jam roughly resembling Chinese Buffet, complete with piano, cajon, and some sweet and soulful background vocals from a mysterious, extremely talented female vocalist.