Java Brewing Co.
The first stone was on Thursday at Java Brewing Co. (Frankfort Ave). We had just left an excellent rehearsal at my house and were setting up for the gig. Anticipating the best, we felt we were more prepared than ever. Just like when Apollo Creed faced the Russian. We were aware that Philip's electric drums would often take a few seconds before initializing the power, but this was more like a few minutes, several minutes, an hour. That's right, I played the entire gig solo, as my buddy Philip sunk into a deep depression. He frequently returned to silent drums to toggle the on/off switch, with visions of sugardrums in his head. The extremely cooperative employees tried to plug our extension cord in several different places, but it never fixed the problem.
The show went well for a solo act. I am sure the building used to be a restaurant. Maybe a Wendy's or a DQ? The seating is chairs around full-size tables, a wine bar, outside seating (with a high-powered heater), and a comfy zone complete with a live fireplace, couch, and big cozy chairs. Not even the down-home hearth could comfort Phillip's disturbed heart. It's always darkest before the dawn. The next morning, after trials and errors and loss of sleep, I finally found the right adapter for Phillip's drums.
The Bottom Line: Never throw away any old power adapters. They could save what is left of the weekend.
The next step was Sunergos Coffeehouse on Preston Street. You know you are truly appreciated when several members of your audience have headphones connected to their laptops. Fortunately, a couple of co-workers from my day job brought some friends and made us feel right at home.
The accommodations were several wooden chairs, small card tables, at least one couch, and some big comfy chairs. I felt like I was hanging out at a college party in my friend's apartment. I found it much easier to talk when in the presence of people that I have conversations on a daily basis. It was almost too comfortable for me. Probably a few inside jokes, but several of the strangers picked up on the positive vibes coming from the floor (no stage, just down on their level). We became comfortable enough to play the sight-reading game. I opened up a 48 page Christmas book and asked the audience to pick a page between 1 and 48. We would play the tune on that page. I think we are going to work Ave Maria into the set.
After two and a half hours of pure randomness, the gig was over. I was so tired that I offered everyone in the room a free CD. Two people did not want it. One of them did not speak English and the other one took about 30 minutes to explain to me his personal revelations from God. I was courteous and listened (which is not usually my specialty). Phillip and I had a long discussion on the way home. We were thinking about the direction of our outfit. We decided that we need to be less jam band and rock the people more.
The Bottom Line: It's late. You are tired. Don't get depressed. Get some rest.
The Old Louisville Coffehouse
The final leg of our weekend tour was at our old faithful, our third gig The Old Louisville Coffeehouse this month. This was supposed to be their busiest day of the year. Apparently, there were public tours of the mansions around 4th Street. I'm sure the tours were beautiful for the same reason I enjoyed playing on the stage in front of the big window -- the elegant snow drifts and soft light diffused by the clouds. Unfortunately for Pam Campbell (the owner), the below-freezing temperatures meant that more people were taking the vans between houses and less people were walking by (or preferably, into) the coffeehouse.
We entered this place with a plan and a promise of hope from Philip. He predicted this show would put us on the map.' That it did. We played better and more creative than ever. I experimented with my Wah pedal / Classical Guitar combo. This weekend brought us to a new level in our performances. Our new format consists of about 30 minutes of classical guitar and the rest is on electric. Philip has also decided to permanently estrange the electric drums for his acoustics.
This coming weekend is still up in the air. We were supposed to play on Friday in Scottsburg at The Daily Grind, but I just got an email from Mark Coffey (the owner). He would rather have a story teller on Friday and move me to a different night. The future is uncertain, and when you play for almost nothing, it doesn't really matter anyway.