Open Mic Nights
I played at the open mic hosted by Foothills Folk Society of Ross County, Ohio (Chillicothe) at Crosskeys Tavern, 17 East Main Street, May 1st, 2019 which was their regularly scheduled first Wednesday of the month. They also 'meet' the third Weds. of the month.
There were 12 names on the roster, some bands, some solos, and it was fun.
I played "Nothing Left Of Me And You", a Song of a couple caught in the trials and tribulations of the Dust Bowl of the 1930's. I played, "We Could Use A Little Rain", a Song of farmer's plight, and the farmer's wife, and "Fancy (And Maybe Nevermore)", a tale of a lady lighthouse keeper awaiting the return of her sailor boyfriend, and Old Gene, who tries to get her to come a dancin'. "Fancy" had the whole audience clapping along from early in the Song, something I'd never experienced before! The third Wednesday of each month (May 15th?) is their next get-together. I think I'm gonna go! https://www.facebook.com/crosskeystavern/
May 3rd, 2019 was the First Friday Open Blues Jam at Port City Cafe and Pub, in Portsmouth, Ohio. I played, "My Woman Pushed Me" (Titled, "If A Frog Had Wings" on my website). Also, "I've Gotta Stop (Loving You)" and "She's Gonna Get The Blues (Then She's Gonna Rub It All Over You)". That last one popped into my head at the April First Friday, and I went home and wrote the Song. https://www.google.com/search?source=hp&ei=P97QXJijNoL-tAW3wY-YDA&q=port+city+cafe+and+pub&btnK=Google+Search&oq=port+city+cafe+and+pub&gs_l=psy-ab.3..0.3103.8008..11758...0.0..0.135.2140.15j7......0....1..gws-wiz.....0..0i131j0i3j0i22i30.6BCiP-70Pn0
Wish I could have been there, Gary. I especially like "We Could Use A Little Rain." Probably my favorite song of yours.
By the way, I found your website to listen to the songs. It seems to rely on Flash to play the music, so I enabled that on my desktop and had no problem, but Flash is not supported by iPhones, so you might miss some potential listeners. I usually listen to music on my iPhone with good Bluetooth headphones. I think maybe a lot of people do.
I may or may not be an enigma
That's fabulous, Gary. Nothing like getting out in front of folks. Some nights are gems (like your crowd clapping along) and others are absolute duds, but all are worth the time for the experience they give. I once found myself in Auckland for an evening and searched around for an open mic for kicks. So I bowl on up to this pub (had to take a taxi to get there from my hotel) and waltz in expecting a pub filled with a mixed crowd all centered on the stage (as one expects of these events). Instead, I found three very large screens, each surrounded by a fixated crowd of 100% male customers watching "the big fight" (whatever that was). So I'm the only gal in this rather large pub of strange beer drunk, fight drunk men. One or two noticed I was there. Then they told two friends and so on and so on. I could not finish my G&T fast enough. Talk about uncomfortable receptions. Lesson learned. Local knowledge is essential before one ventures out alone on the town. lol
It must have been really hard playing above the noise of the fight, Jen.
I regret that I can't play well enough to do live performances because a lot of my songs are written with live performance in mind, especially the humorous, story ones. The only way I could do it would be to play up the whole international side of the Mysterious Beings thing, claim that Donald hadn't let them into the country, so they were having to join us via satellite from the lead guitarist's granny's living room, play the music through a speaker and just sing. LOL
I may or may not be an enigma
I'd back you up anytime Gavin!! As long as you could tolerate a smart-assed quip now and then 🙂
I've been looking for an open mic here in Decatur, Al.... You'd think being so close to Muscle Shoals and Nashville they'd be all over the place, but....
I played the Third Wednesday open mic hosted by Foothill Folk Society ( https://www.facebook.com/foothillfolk/ ) tonight. I played "She's Gonna Get The Blues" and "Fancy (And Maybe Nevermore), hoping they'd clap along again. They didn't! Somebody has to start it and then folks will join in. Next time I'll have a shill in the crowd. Ya gotta know how to sell this Snake Oil!
Another great roster of talents, guitarists, mandolin, harmonica, acoustic, electric, blues and folk and country and whatever ya got!
I did hear some feedback that there's something wrong with "She's Gonna Get The Blues". A listener spotted the inconsistency of Structure that I had spotted when I posted it on Facebook. I hadn't detected it writing it out on a notebook page, because I was writing Lines in on the same line as other Lines, trying to fit it all on one page so I could look at it as I played it, learning it as a new Song. But he spotted it, as sung, though it took seeing it as laid out on the Facebook page for me to 'see' it, and still I haven't clearly 'heard' it.
Now, it's a humorous Song, or intended to be, so some liberties can be taken, poetic license, a little self-deprecation from trying to write a Song destined to become a classic, and just trying to tell a funny tale. But I'm going back and study it and see if I can modify it, without losing my story, and balance out that Structure. If one person 'spotted' it, others might too, and that might be where I lose an audience, lose listeners. Little things matter, and little Structural inconsistencies may be Song killers.
Someone said, "Songwriting is re-writing." I say, "There's inspiration; then there's 'craft'." Craft is where you study your product and 'fix' it, modify it, tweak it, make it do things instead of just letting it do things.
Now where's that 'live stream' they said was happening? I'd like to see and hear what I did up there! I flubbed words in "Fancy", I know.
There it is! https://www.facebook.com/foothillfolk/
I'm about 1:09 in. I haven't watched/listened yet. Fingers crossed.
Looks like y'all had a lot of fun. That sound guy was magic. The way he took the time to get everyone's sonic space set up right for what they were playing and singing. "Fancy" is quite a frolic. It's no wonder that folks liked to clap along at your last open mic. Nicely done Gary.
Thanks for sharing, Gary. I liked "Fancy" a lot. It's a real sing-along song. I'm not much of a clapper, but my foot would have been tapping (which somehow seems more Irish anyway LOL). It's a great song for a live gig, especially after the bluesy number that preceded it.
One minor suggestion, if you want it to be even more "Irish." Don't shorten Eugene to Gene. I've never heard that done in Ireland. It's certainly a name you would encounter over there, but I don't think I've ever heard it contracted to Gene, which is more of an American thing to do. I think Eugene fits the melody just as well as Gene.
I may or may not be an enigma
In the movie I play Old Gene, the American who has achieved a modicum of fame and fortune in America in the music business, but wants to learn to play fiddle like Irishmen, and Irishwomen. So I travel to The Emerald Isle, and follow the advice of those who tell me, "Don't go to the big cities. Get out in the country where there's few people. Somewhere there you'll find fiddlers who know 'what for'!"
Settling at random into a small village with a small port on the Irish Sea I found a room in the tavern.
"It's where the sailors stay when they come ashore," an old man tells me, his never-smoking pipe clenched between his teeth, "and when the sailors come ashore the fiddlers come in from the hills to play and take home some sailor money."
I wandered around with him for a few days, fiddle at hand, down the hill, past the carpenter's and ship-builders, "Ship repairers; more likely," the old man says, pipe clenched. We walk the docks, empty save for local boats. They look like they could accommodate larger craft, but none are in port at the time.
"When do the ships come?" I ask him.
"When they want to," he murmurs.
After a new Monday came I thought of moving on. I decided to risk my reputation and busk on the street. I didn't open my case for money, just played. There was little interest. When school got out the children came and listened, and danced! I thought that was a good sign. Then a little girl stepped up after a dance and said, "You're not Irish are ya?" I admitted my American pedigree. She smiled, said, "Keep practicing! You'll get there." With that they were gone and none of the adults passing and coming and going to the shops paid any attention to me. I packed up and went in for supper.
The woman who ran the tavern, or pub, Fade's Pub, was a plump girl, twenty-something, I guessed. She showed interest in me but not for my fiddling. I may be mistaken, but I think Mrs. Robinson was trying to seduce me.
A priest came in one day and made conversation. Finding out I was an American he brightened. Finding I wasn't Catholic he darkened. He and the pub-woman seemed to exchange a lot of looks. I didn't watch long enough to assess whether they were friendly or feuding.
I began to count on the children, playing when they came from school, and enjoying their dances, which varied depending on what I tried to play. The same little girl would end things, saying, "Keep practicing! You'll get there!" She seemed to be a leader, the others, boys younger and older, all the girls, would end on her signal and go on toward homes, there in the village, and off the several small roads that led back up tot he main road, a two-lane squeeze-by I'd driven in on.
On Wednesday of that second week I walked up the hill toward a small lighthouse. I'd seen its light scanning out to sea at night. It was barely taller than the thatched house it stood beside. It didn't need to be. It stood atop the cliff, which ran far and none higher. As I came in view of the base of the lighthouse I saw a woman in a long skirt, up on a ladder. I watched her remove a pane of glass from the lighthouse, climb down, move the ladder around to the left and prepare to go up again. Seeing me, she stopped and looked, giving a smile and wave that seemed to be shortened as she didn't recognize me. She was very pretty.
"Hello!" I called.
"Hello," she said, barely audible.
"Need any help?" I asked.
She cupped her hand to her ear, and I repeated, "Need any help?"
"No," she said. "No thank you."
Being a stupid American I walked down. She climbed the ladder, eyeing me in a way that made me know I should not have come onto the property. I watched as she fitted the glass into an opening. There on the ground were pieces of a broken pane.
"No replacement?" I asked. "You're just moving one around? What about the opening you just took it from?" (To be continued. LOL)