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Thirsty Lion Post-Mortem...


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The Thirsty Lion gig wasn’t a disappointment, because I didn’t intend it to be. No, no money, no CD sales, and no additions to the “joelist,” but the audience was pretty appreciative (if pretty small), and I got to play what I wanted, and it was fun. Host Eric John Kaiser did remember me (I thought he might). They got six songs:

Take-Out Food (Stan Good)

When I Jump Off the Cliff I’ll Think of You

Hey, Little Chicken

The Abomination Two-Step

Armadillo on the interstate

Crosses by the Roadside

In order: death, lost love, betrayal, religion, and dead animals, plus one serious song. Alternating fast and slow songs as usual, so things don’t sound alike—but I think I perform the two-steps better. The audience liked “The Abomination Two-Step” a lot (most outrageous song on the list), and “Crosses by the Roadside” the best—but by the time we got to that one, I had their attention, so it was to be expected. The other musicians (well, two out of three) paid attention, too, and both approached me afterwards to tell me how much they liked what Eric John Kaiser called the “stories.”

And those two guys were pretty good themselves. The black guy who spoke French (Haitian, maybe?) definitely had command of his instrument, and had really catchy rhythms and melodies; nothing really new in the subject matter, which was mostly love songs, but all that means is that nobody famous is going to be cutting his stuff. Definitely worth listening to. The other one, whom I thought of as “the kid” (he was obviously over 21—this was a bar), had singing and guitar playing reminiscent of Robbie Robertson of The Band, and had written some very good material. Probably as close to country music as one is going to get in Portland. (The third guy, who played what he called “acoustic pop rock,” probably doesn’t warrant mention; he may have been full of himself, but he wasn’t very good. I hope I don’t come across like him on stage.)

I signed the usual release form allowing Portland Concert Coop to air a video of my performance (they never did air the last one, but Eric promised it’d air this time); Eric did the videotaping, and it streamed live on justintv. I assume there’s video footage archived somewhere, and I would like to see it. I would like to see how I come across in public.

And I got—maybe—the beginnings of a new song on the way home. I do need to get out more. That’s where the inspiration is.

The benefit concert for Val will be late March or early April, I’m told—close enough to give it a St. leif’s Day theme. (That probably means the band needs to learn “The Six-Legged Polka.”) We’ve got John (bass), Chris (drums) and me (rhythm guitar); we can’t have Doc—he’ll be out of town—but maybe we can enlist Mike to play lead guitar. The organizers were thinking about having two bands, and I recommended they have each band do an hour-and-a-half show—that’d allow folks to make an evening of it, and it wouldn’t be hard on the musicians.

And I’ve been tapped (thanks to wife Sandee) to play guitar at a Tillamook Monday Night Musical performance. Just one song—Bill Brio’s singing “All My Exes Live in Texas,” accompanied by a music teacher who plays piano, Doc Wagner on the blues harp—and me. Just a fun thing—but this group are seriously professional (and classical) musicians. It’d be good to hook up with them.

Joe

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