January 31st, 2018.

Tonight I was booked to not just play, but to run a showcase to boot. Liz (credited with the below photo) had been looking for some new regular event at her venue in Gaithersburg – and we’d talked about a couple of things. Though I’d LOVE to be running a new open mic, and this would actually be a very fun space to do it – they’ve already got a band-oriented open mic running on Thursdays and I’ve learned my lesson about trying to double up events like that…

So we talked showcases.

The whole crew - Rowan on the left, then Nailah Saleem, Jack Bond and me.
The whole crew – Rowan on the left, then Nailah Saleem, Jack Bond and me.

So, I'm not going to say that the REAL reason we've been playing Hershey's is the fried chicken - because they've appreciative of Live music, pay okay and have a stage - but... tonight Kristen wasn't playing, wasn't on the stage, and wasn't getting paid....

So, I’m not going to say that the REAL reason we’ve been playing Hershey’s is the fried chicken – because they’ve appreciative of Live music, pay okay and have a stage – but… tonight Kristen wasn’t playing, wasn’t on the stage, and wasn’t getting paid….

I set something up that fulfilled the criteria that I’d set up for myself : 1) have a fun time 2) could jam with one another 3) could draw to Gaithersburg 4) included at least one female performer 5) included at least one person of colour 6) see #1.

Performing at Hershey's in Gaithersburg, MD (thanks to Kristen for the picture).
Performing at Hershey’s in Gaithersburg, MD (thanks to Kristen for the picture).

Maybe that all sounds a bit PC, but I’m TRYING to pretend like my place in the music world isn’t just all about me, and if I’m able, I’m happy to spread the Love. Nailah is young and could always use a bit more exposure in the world, Rowan’s really trying to get out and perform as a singer/songwriter rather than a support artist, Jack Bond was new to me but was local and enthusiastic (and a marvelously passionate guitarist) and …. well… I had a little budget to entice them…

!!! Selfie with SLR accomplished!

!!! Selfie with SLR accomplished! –>

The night went really well. Criteria : 1) yep! 2) mostly successful… ish… I’m not as good at this as I pretend I am 3) it was okay, but the sudden VICIOUS return to cold weather didn’t help…. still, a decent audience persevered and helped perpetrate 1, 3 and 6 – special thanks to “the Bond Girls”… 4) check, 5) double check and 6) see number 1.

A good night was had. I don’t think I got great video for a couple of stupid reasons (Artem Bank, it’s true… it’s not just gear… I hang my head and cry) and it was maybe a little more chaotic than I’d like (the “Nashville” part of the night should perhaps be a smaller part of the night unless the players are really, really solid and don’t have lots and lots of weird stops in their songs… ROB!!!)

I think they’re going to pick it up as a recurring THING come April, which will be really wonderful on a couple of levels. And then I’ll have to see if I can’t refine 1, 2 and 6 while upgrading 3 and maintaining 4 and 5.

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