Cranky Old Witch's profile picture

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Category: Music

Memories of playing live part 1

I once played a bar WAY up in north Jersey. Tiny bar, tiny town. Nothing up that way, and the locals really appreciated it when some live music came up their way. The turnout was good and we were pretty in the pocket of the groove.

This pretty young thing was dancing all up and down near us enjoying a night out During a set break she asked if her father (who loved the kind of blues music we did) could sing a song with us. Bands hate this, but the elderly gentleman looked so sincere we thought ‘why not?’. We talked over a few mutual tunes we might know, what he knew lyrics for, and what key he’d be more or less comfortable in. He ended up singing “Worried Life Blues” with us.

He sang it pretty well, his voice creaked a bit, but he sang it with passion and presence.

The thing that really made it stick out in my mind was that whole time he gazed into his wife’s eyes while singing. His whole world stopped, and she was everything in it that ever mattered to him. He sang as if every note was a testament to the long years of love he had for her, and their daughter smiled.

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Jon 🐇

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R+C's profile picture

We all find our life story in a song ... 💕

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Many, many songs, I hope :)

by Cranky Old Witch; ; Report


Cajunghost's profile picture

What a feel good story that was. Nice!

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I'm always more affected by watching the stories unfold within an audience than anything I actually played as a musician :)

by Cranky Old Witch; ; Report

That's a good thing tho, there are some musicians that never pay much attention to the crowd watching them and just go thru the motions of themselves playing to make a buck. On a side note I never realized you played in a band before. Feel free to enlighten me on that, like band name and what style of music did you play?

by Cajunghost; ; Report

A few different band names depending on configuration. NONE of it was famous, or even particularly remarkable. This was for fun and a few bucks on the side.

I would usually play about three gigs a month, a gig with a six piece blues band leaning mostly on earlier blues and a few originals. A three piece rough and ready type band playing mostly early rock, some of the blues material stripped down and whatever darn well pleased, and a solo acoustic dinner type gig.

Then, around St. Paddy's day, some friends and I would play Irish music. All day. As many as seven sets in a day. But not at bars, but at more family type bar/restaurants. Lot to say about that.

I loved doing it at the time. Loved it! And love all the memories! But I don't miss doing it either ;)

I'll likely post more memories as time rolls on if folks like these sorts of posts.

As for the importance of the audience, that's the reason we kept getting repeat gigs at places! No BS 'rock star' mentality, we were there for THEM, not the other way around! You can get up and play and all, but folks are there to have a good time, so having good stage presence and getting connected is KEY! Getting folks to sing or dance or clap or whatever! On the quiet dinner type gigs, you're there as atmosphere, but STILL if you can get an audience engaged and these folks were mostly sober, so they are LISTENING, it is a wonderful thing.

My advice to anyone getting into 'giggingl is be real. Be bigger and more exaggerated, but be real! Be in love with what you're doing and in love with those who came out to have a good time!

by Cranky Old Witch; ; Report

Very cool story. There used to be a particular band here in town where I live that went by the name Sacred South that I was friends with that played mostly southern rock and a Santana song or two in the mid 2000's. I used go to their practice sessions to see what cover tunes or originals they were working on. Their wives would be there most of the time drinking usually playing cards if they wasn't watching their husbands play. Needless to say we would cut up and enjoy ourselves most of the time. I got along good with both the guy's and their wives. I'd also go watch them whenever they had a gig to play that were mostly small bars or clubs. Got to dance with the wives, video taped a few gigs as well as practice sessions and overall we all had fun doing it with taking life too seriously back then. One night at one of their gigs the wives on behalf of the band presented me with an 8x10 band pic with their signatures on it even the wives signed it. On the back was a thank you for your support and friendship paragraph they wrote with some other words I can't remember at the moment. I was surprised by that and thanked them all for it. There were a few band member changes after that time bass player being the first one and guitarists toward the end of their band run. As with most things in life nothing last forever but I enjoyed it while it lasted. They did however produce a release with their Sacred South band name with mostly originals on it. I still have my disc. Two of their songs got sold to some artist in Nashville which for the life of me I fail to remember the song names. There were several other under the radar bands I used to go watch play small venues in nearby towns of New Iberia, Lafayette, Jeanerette and Morgan City not far from where I live back in the 90's and early 2000's. Bands like Acid Bath, Z-Lot-Z, Lillian Axe, Andy Smith Band, Spank The Monkey, Midnight Circus, Asphalt Ballet, Brigade, The Three D's and 3AM to name a few I use to go watch back then not counting the bigger name known bands. I lost count on those but still have my ticket stubbs for most of them that I saved.

by Cajunghost; ; Report

Meant to say without taking life too seriously in one of my sentences.

by Cajunghost; ; Report