There’s something to be said for a small audience – and when I say small, I mean, say, seven people not including the two employees at the coffee house. They listen, you get a lot more feedback, you can actually chat between songs.
Last night, third Friday of the month, was the Englewood Art Walk. Englewood’s parking – a double line of spaces in the center of the avenue – was full-ish: I had to park about a block away which is unusual. Knowing what that sort of traffic brings in I’d happily walk farther. Here’s hoping that when the weather warms up that will actually be the case.
Because of the people there for the art, and the gallery in the back of the coffee house, my first set was reasonably well attended. As I started, Rae lowered the “house” lights so it was just me on stage under the glare of two tiny spot lamps. A hush fell over the crowd…though they got chatty again after a few songs. Eventually, the group at house right retired to the gallery to where they could talk without fighting the music. That’s okay. It’s a coffee house, after all, so you expect that. They were generous: give me money, I don’t care if you listen or not.
Two highlights for the evening.
A friend of mine from high school was there last night. While we weren’t the bestest friends ever back then I do remember her fondly, and we had the opportunity to catch up when the music was all done.
I met a man named Dave. He is sixty-seven, has a degree in music theory with emphasis in pipe organ, and tunes the coffee house piano. He owns two guitars, a Fender and an acoustic whose brand I didn’t recognize. He has perfect pitch, and identified that I’d capo’d my guitar to E without looking.
Well, he wouldn’t have to look because he is also, as it happens, blind.
I was standing at the counter passing the time with Rae (the lady behind the bar) when Dave came in. She was busy and couldn’t direct him to a table and asked me if I would. I introduced myself and led him to a table. He said, “I hear there’s going to be some Irish guitar tonight.” “Yep,” I said, “and I’m your man.” We chatted about guitar tunings (apparently he’d spoken to Larry about me) and I invited him to place his hand on mine while I played the D progression, explaining the fingering and why it’s useful in Celtic music. I’m willing to bet he retuned his guitar when he got home. Hee…another convert 🙂