Lotsa miles......

Sat, Nov. 13 2004
There's a lot to catch up on. After Bellingham, Washington was a house concert with Jean Mann (www.JeanMann.com) in Marblemount, Wa at the Skagit (pronounced Skajit) River Resort. What a great place! It's about thirty miles or so east of Interstate 5 in the north Cascades. Beautiful setting on the river with tall trees, beautiful meadows, and hundreds of semi-tame rabbits hopping all over the place...It was a dream gig. Judi and Bob (the proprietors) were wonderful hosts and went out of their way to make certain we felt comfortable and welcome. After Skagit River it was off to Seattle, where I caught an open mic at the Experience Music Project or EMP as it's known locally. This is a truly strange place. Architecturally, try to imagine The Mothership crash-landing at the base of the Space Needle. Not a straight line anywhere! Inside are comprehensive museums of Rock music and Sci Fi film memorabilia...and a club called the Liquid Lounge. While waiting for downbeat at the open mic who should appear but Cara Vida (www.CaraVida.com) an utterly no-compromise performance artist/cabaret singer from San Francisco I met for the first time several weeks ago at another o'mic in Eugene, Oregon. Then, while we were marveling at the coincidence and catching up on our travels, up the stairs comes Jessica McFarland (www.Jessica McFarland.com) who I played a show with way back in October down in San Diego!...at this point we stopped trying to make any sense of it whatsoever and commenced to having a great time. I got called up first and played a few songs, then Jessica, who got held over for an extra song, and then Cara Vida, who li terally stopped the room with her interpretation of the old standard "I cried a river"! The next night, Jean Mann and I caught another Open Mic. This was at a very well attended little place in the U-district called the Trabant Chai Lounge. It was full of fine talent and an enthusiastic, though loud and talkative, audience. But when Jean did her songs you could have heard a pin drop. Fortunately, I followed just a couple slots after Jean and got the benefit of their attention as a result :^) A couple days of travel brought me back to California and a pleasant o'mic in Benicia at a place called "in the company of wolves". This is a truly classic brick-walled coffeehouse with a tiny stage and an inordinate amount of talent stopping by. Next night was down to San Francisco for a show at The Cafe Espresso Roma with performing songwriter Mario Zelaya, whose songs are full of vivid imagery, wit and humor, and never fail to capture my imagination. We're cooking up a show in Southern California in January...Hopefully you'll get a chance to see him then...Do good. James