We left DC on April 3rd and continued on our trek to New York City with happy hearts and lots of good snacks from Mama Rilko. Upon our arrival, we took Jason Crosby's advice and hit up the famous Katz's Delicatessen for some pastrami reubens. Yum. Then two shots of espresso and we were out the door for a two block stroll through Manhattan to the Rockwood Music Hall. We arrived just in time to catch Anna Egge rock the stage and style and grace. This singer-songwriter is a New Yorker with a kicking' three piece band and currently holds a residency at the Rockwood every Tuesday at 8pm for the Month of April. If you're in the area make sure to check her out, and stick around for the powerhouse that is Michael Daves.
As per usual, I got familiar with another dimly lit restroom, while I slipped into my red birthday dress and prepared for the rest of the evening between Anna and Michael's set. Michael blew us away, as expected, and graciously plugged us during his hour in the spotlight so that the entire crowd, I believe, stuck around for our set. Michael accompanied us on a couple Father Monroe standards, and I have to admit, my knees were shaking for the first time in years from the nervousness of being on stage with someone we so musically admire. In spite of my nerves, however, the entire show went swimmingly. Michael's exodus was immediately followed by the introduction of Mark's long time friend, Andy Moss, on trumpet for our new song "Tied Down To You." I met Andy for the first time as he hopped up on stage, and I was blow away when he kicked off my song as though he'd played it his entire life. What a trip, friends, to know so many talented people and to be affected by their greatness! And the proverbial cherry on the literal cake came when Todd Livingston from Gangster Grass and the Six Deadly Venoms played his pretty, shinny dobro (which he had lent to Mark to play for the night) with us on Clandestino, a cover we do by Manu Chao. What a treat!
Someone in the crowd captured this video from the night of "Going Back To Old Kentucky" with Michael Daves-- check it out!
As if all of this wasn't enough, we then joined forces with the lovely Miss Tess and her Bon Ton Parade Boys for a trip to one of the hippest joints I've been to in a…well… maybe ever. At first when we entered the Mona's bar, all I could see was a wall of people, but a short walk through the throng revealed an 8 or 10 piece rag time jazz jam in the corner beside an old piano. I recognized a few of the faces and recognized the songs as well. Good old tymey jazz! My favorite! We all stepped in towards the end of the "night" (by night I mean 4am) and tried our chops with these polished vets, and have ourselves a time. Let me just say that if the excitement of my 1/2 century birthday is proportionally greater than my 1/4 century birthday, I think I'm going to have to be seated for the whole thing.
Matt and Danny from the Bon Ton Parade graciously put us up for the night and we woke with seltzer and breakfast sandwiches before continuing down the road back to Pennsylvania. Here's a photo from the morning:
After all the late night adventures, it was so nice to be welcomed into the home of the golden hearted DiFiglia family. Lori and Vince hold house concerts in their backyard, which is perfectly set up for a neighborhood gathering and likewise well attended by their friends and neighbors. We filled our bellies with treats from the amazing spread of their potluck and then played music into the night to an attentive audience. Vince got the entire things on video! Here's one of the videos he captured in high def!
I can't explain how thankful I am to have people like Dan and Suzie Rilko and Lori and Vince DiFiglia to break up long drives and late nights. We've found that good homestyle love and cooking are immeasurably valuable assets on the road.
The next night we played a follow up set to Chris Kasper at the World Cafe Live at the Queen in Wilmington, DE. And had a wonderful evening! Christianna, the lovely lady who booked us at the Queen, opened up her home to us as well and I got to fall asleep to my favorite lullaby: late night spontaneous jamming. I'm serious. Acoustic jams are as good as an evening rain for me, and I slept great with my new feline friend, Emery. (I hope la Nina won't mind!)
Right now we're packed into BarbaAzúl on our way to Road Island… another day another gig!