Played the Acadia Cafe in Minneapolis tonight.

Just got home from a full-band gig at the Acadia Cafe in Minneapolis. 'Twas a show I'd been planning to do for a while...a split bill with the acoustic prog duo called Flincho, featuring Mark LaForest (formerly of Ishpeming, MI) who I played trombone with in 7th Grade Band.

The Acadia is a great place to play. Beautiful theater atmosphere, good food, nice vibe. But every time I play there the crowd is small small small. Like, maybe 10 people. We had about 10 in the audience tonight. BUT, it was still VERY worth doing, thanks to the fine musicianship of my rhythm section Troy and Kerns. What a show! We were really synched up and inspired, and we did some unexpected songs with lovely spontaneous arrangements.

Mark's band Flincho played first, and wowed me with their structures and lightning-fingers on the fretboards. Their final song was a cover of "One Night in the Month of May," a song I co-wrote and recorded with The Muckrakers about 10 years ago, so I got to jump on stage and play harmonica and sing harmony on a song that nobody (besides Flincho) had ever performed before!
My own trio got set up and organized in a new way tonight...Troy played a stripped-down tom-less drum kit, and Kerns played bass AND lap steel (sometimes simultaneously!). And I tried a new guitar rig: my 1950s-era National resophonic guitar run through a 1980s-era solid-state keyboard amp. A weird little system, but that guitar sounded great, and I tried my best to channel Chris Whitley all night long. Here's an approximation of our set list:

Falling Down
Are You Speaking Thru the Radio
If I Ever Get There (with Kerns on lead vocals!)
Come Thou Long Expected Jesus
The Prophetstown Tornado
List of Things to Do
Bright Funeral
Cold But I Don't Mind
Second Language
Local Road
The Princess Wants to Spend Her Time with Me

+ and a final set with Flincho joining us on stage for a Farm-Aid jam session +

The World is Changing Every Day (great tune written by Arlo Leach)
Almost Never See
Helvetica (another Muckrakers cover tune)

There was something really magical about our musical connectedness tonight. Some factors that might have added to the great atmosphere:
+ we all played sitting down
+ we were playing relatively quietly
+ we were all trying new or altered instruments/setups
+ we experiemented with rare songs (no "Smart Girls," "Librarian," "Committee," or "Serious Kind" tonight)
+ our audience, though they were small, were REALLY attentive and positive

We made $25 in tips, and everybody told me to take it, so I did. So I got paid $25 to have a BLAST making music for a cozy room of interested people. Sweet deal, man.

Another minor epiphany from tonight: Back in the Summer I bought the newest Lisa Germano album "In the Maybe world" on the day it was released 'cause I'm a big huge Lisa fan. I listened to the album a few times after I bought it, but it was all was a quiet, dark, keyboard-based album and I was listening to it in the daytime on hot, sweltering Summer afternoons, with Paavo in the car with me...the album couldn't reach my brain. But, from past experience, I know that Lisa Germano records ALWAYS connect with me eventually, even if it takes a while. So Lisa's CD has been sitting by my computer for the past 5 months or so waiting to reach out to me. Tonight on the way to the gig I put the CD into the player in the car, and BOOM I had a connection. It was dark, rainy, chilly, I was alone, I was relaxed, I had the car stereo up LOUD, and her new album finally made sense. Sometimes you've got to wait a while to "get" certain music. Thanks Lisa, you're worth the wait! It was one of those great moments where the driving and the weather and the mood just synched up beautifully with the music playing in the car.


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