Three more Open Mic appearances!
Last Wednesday night (September 28), I had another Open Mic appearance with the Staunton Music Guild at Queen City Brewery. The sound equipment was set up inside, since the weather outside was overcast, with rain threatening. When Jacqueline and I arrived, there were hardly any other people there, but by the time I started playing at 7:20 or so, a nice-sized crowd had gathered. I played:
- "Talkin' Baseball" -- Terry Cashman
- "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" -- The Beatles
- "If You Could Read My Mind, Love" -- Gordon Lightfoot
- "Baker Street" -- Gerry Rafferty
I only learned "Talkin' Baseball" last week, and I haven't quite mastered all the lyrics, for which I had to apologize in advance to the audience. Since it is the last week of the regular baseball season, it was either now or "wait till next year!" It was tough figuring out some of the chord progressions on that one, but I'm pretty sure I got it right. As I told the audience, the chords for that song I found on an Internet website are wrong! The next two songs I did much better on, and the audience applauded warmly. That last song ("Baker Street") was an "encore," as each musician got time to play one more song later on. (There were fewer musicians than usual.) I use the harmonica in place of the blazing saxophone solos on that song, and it sounds very impressive, at least to my own ears.
At Open Mic Night one week earlier (September 21), the weather was nice once again, with some really good performers, including a guy named "Fuzzy." I started with another big Simon & Garfunkle song, "Mrs. Robinson," following up on a song of theirs that I had done a week before that. It went well, as I mastered that one some time ago. Prior to the third song ("Barely Breathing"), I explained that I had just changed the chords I play on it, based on a website I found, but I substituted a simpler (and cleaner-sounding) version of that chord.
- "Mrs. Robinson" -- Simon & Garfunkle
- "Road to Glory" -- Ozark Mountain Daredevils
- "Barely Breathing" -- Duncan Sheikh
Finally (in reverse chronological order), two Wednesdays ago (September 14), the weather was beautiful and there was a nice-sized crowd on the outside patio. I met some more interesting musicians and we chatted about harmonicas and stuff. I played:
- "Fly Away Home" -- Ozark Mountain Daredevils
- "Black Sky" -- Ozark Mountain Daredevils
- "America" -- Simon & Garfunkle
Before that last song, I talked a little about a guitar player from South Dakota where I grew up, Jim Jorgenson. He and another guy (Dave Colwell) from St. Paul's Episcopal Church pioneered in leading folk mass services in the late 1960s, which caused a bit of commotion -- some good, some bad. I played along with them in some of the services, but I was just a beginner with little to contribute. Jim, on the other hand, was a superb musician who played many songs by Simon & Garfunkle and Bob Dylan on his 12-string guitar. I learned via Facebook a few months ago that Jim passed away many years ago, in the heroic act of trying to rescue somebody from drowning. I was devastated to learn about that. So before the song "America" I told the story about Jim and how he inspired me with his wonderful guitar playing, and I dedicated that song to him. There's a line in that song, "And the moon rose over an open field," and it just so happened that a nearly-full moon was rising in the east as I was playing, so I called attention to that between verses. It was one of those spine-tingling karmic moments.
So, who the heck are these "Ozark Mountain Daredevils," whose songs I play so frequently? That will be the subject of a future blog post.