Monday, July 19, 2010

Living on Borrowed Blues

Last Friday I was awoken at 11am with my phone ringing and ringing. I had worked til 3am the night before, and probably didn't drift off to sleep til about 5am, so I was not about answer the phone for anyone. Well, almost anyone. When I saw it was Jesse Lee Jones, owner of Robert's and leader of the infamous Brazilbilly, I cleared my throat and mustered a "Hey Jesse, what's going on?" He was in a panic, the artist that normally played the Friday morning shift wasn't available and he needed someone. While I had recently been invited up on the Robert's stage to sing a couple songs with The Silver Threads, I really wasn't prepared. But I told him I'd be right down. I quickly woke up Meagan, printed out the lyrics to 4 or 5 old country tunes, ate a banana and off we went.

As many of you know, I love old country and blues music, but I really hadn't rehearsed for a two hour set of traditional country music. Once I got down there, I grabbed some coffee and some Red Bull and went at it. There was a surprisingly good crowd for an early afternoon in Lower Broadway. While in the past I felt like I really needed a band to get my point across, as the set went on I felt more comfortable with just a guitar and microphone. The two hours really flew by, and I got a better reaction on some of my originals than on the covers (probably because I knew my songs better).

Here's the tunes I played , with links to video clips...

1 Sea of Heartbreak (Don Gibson)
2 Can’t Get You Off My Mind (Hank Williams)
3 I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight (Bob Dylan)
4 Love Me (Elvis)
5 That’s All Right (Elvis)
6 Baby What You Want Me to Do (Jimmy Reed)
7 Little Sister (Elvis)
8 Lost Highway (Hank Williams)
9 Oh Lonesome Me (Don Gibson) *we did this on the first Mercies album*
10 Your Cheatin’ Heart (Hank Williams)
11 Country Heroes (Hank III) - by request!
12 Ramblin’ Man (Hank Williams)
13 Black Widow Blues (Townes Van Zandt)

originals/songs I've recorded:
14 Fair Warning
15 Honey I Choose You
16 Since You’ve Gone
17 Ain’t No Grave (traditional)
18 Angel Face (Bonnie Guitar)
19 Next Best Thing
20 Across the River
21 Let Me Down Easy (Mark Pickerel)
22 Mortality Blues
23 Death & Texas
24 Idle Hands
25 Never Turnin’ Back

After my set, I gathered my tips (!!), and Jesse told me he'd need me again next Friday. As far as I know, the normal Friday morning performer will be back the following week, but I am looking forward to expanding my repertoire for this coming Friday. I'm getting Travis Terrell to join me on the keys. One of the things I was really missing at that first show was solos. Having Travis there will allow the songs to breath more, and I don't have to sing verse after verse. I'm not sure where this opportunity will lead, but it's cool to be on the other side of the glass at Robert's for a change.


  1. Wow, I like the idea of a morning/afternoon show -- a whole different vibe, I'd bet.

  2. totally! Getting a better reaction at 11am than a band would at 6pm? Really great.