Monday, July 03, 2006

Marietta Square show a Major Success!

Friday June 30th at the Marietta Square was flippin' amazing! I had no idea that it would be such a major event or I would've made a lot more noise about it in my newsletters. My guess is 5,000 people packed into the square for a Chastain-like experience, complete with a row of reserved tables, candles, flowers in glass vases, etc. When I got there for 4:45 soundcheck, the grassy parts had already filled with lawn chairs. The city even blocks the street behind the stage, and that fills with audience watching us from behind (making it interesting to play in both directions). Most of you haven't seen the full Andrew Black & The Naturals show, and I must say it's a big'un. We had Andrew, Jon Schwenke on bass, Ben Taylor on drums, myself, female vocalists Kim & Bobbi, and Marcus & Adam (of King Johnson) on sax & trombone. The northwest sky looked threatening, so we started 15 minutes early, rocked the joint until about 9, took a short break and hit 'em again until the storm finally did arrive, ending the show exactly 15 minutes early with very theatrical lightning and wind effects. There was a moment at the ending of the next to last song, I was flailing my guitar on the final chord, holding it up high, facing the rear audience, the furious gust front of the coming storm blowing in my face, the lightning, the thunder, the shouting applause... it was like being Charlton Heston as Moses in "The Ten Commandments". What a rush! Then we ended on "Sweet Home Marietta", complete with a reference to The Big Chicken, and finished just as the fat raindrops started pelting the crowd. For us, the storm wasn't bad - the storm came in from behind us so we pulled our gear downstage a few feet and started packing - by the time things were in cases, the storm had blown through, so we weren't trapped long. I know that some of you were there taking pictures, and I sure would love to have copies, please. I'll post the best ones in my blog as soon as I get them.

Saturday I did a new venue (for me anyway), Rafters at Jones Bridge and State Bridge, with Jon Schwenke and Jack Jones. I like that place, the staff is extremely nice and the room is laid out in a way that makes sense for live music; the stage area is on one end, pointed out an open sliding door so a lot of sound vents outward, not at the bar area. There's a dance floor, low tables, and the bar is above and somewhat behind the stage. Then the restaurant area is on the other side, kept airtight to seal out any smoke and noise from the bar. The whole venue works very well, and I like & recommend Rafters.

William and Ricky, you're not forgotten.

Remember to celebrate the 4th; stick up for sticking up. Nothing is more American than the ability to think for yourself and speak your mind. Your "country" mostly boils down to your rights & freedoms, so guard them all (especially free speech) and don't let anyone whittle them down while telling you it's to preserve them. Some of our founding fathers, especially Ben Franklin, warned against exactly that. This is the week when we especially remember and celebrate our ancestors' struggle, and just as we don't want to dishonor our current troops we sure don't want to dishonor those who fought directly for THIS soil, THESE people, making sacrifices and efforts you can barely imagine. Remember their work with pride, maintain it with determination. That's being a Patriot.

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