On June 29th, on the big stage downstairs at World Cafe Live in Philly, Troy and I played a 40minute set to open for blues slide guitarist and songwriter Lee Roy Parnell. We were thrilled, obviously, to get the call for this, and although we haven’t finished the new record or filled out the band yet, we didn’t want to pass up the chance. As it turned out, Lee Roy wasn’t touring with a full band either, two (excellent) guitar players accompanied him, and an acoustic duo version of Almshouse was exactly what they wanted. As luck would have it, Troy and I had just played a couple of duo gigs, one at Liberty Lands in early June, and one for Sexton Sideshow as part of Make Music Philly day, so we were pretty well-rehearsed for this kind of thing. The World Cafe Live slot was confirmed just about 2 weeks out, so we tried not to panic and we put together a set:
Scary (a Medea tune I wrote with Pat Robinson)
Some Other Life (ditto)
You’re No Good (yes, the Linda Ronstadt tune, written by Clint Ballard, Jr.)
Ghost of Yesterday (Troy switched to his electric)
Bitter Thing (electric, with a surprise solo added in by Troy just to keep me on my toes)
Gettysburg (Troy back to acoustic)
Shooting Stars (after Troy tuned down)
Last year, we did a full band Almshouse gig upstairs at World Cafe Live, and I’ve performed in that room several times with Medea in the past, but it’s a whole new experience downstairs. Big room, big, stellar sound. The sound guys were great, moving past a little confusion with Troy’s direct box, and getting the monitor mix just right– though when Troy pulled that Surprise Solo trick on me during Bitter Thing, I think he turned his guitar all the way to 11 and the carefully created sound check mix went to pieces. The soundmen fixed it right up and I forgave Troy.
The audience–pretty damn large for a Monday night and packed with LRP fans–was incredibly attentive during our set, which was so cool, and we got some great compliments on the music afterwards, particularly for Gettysburg.
Also, meeting Lee Roy, Scotty Bratcher, and Adam Fluhrer was a pleasure, really nice guys and amazing musicians. Lee Roy even tried out Troy’s Martin before our sound check, which made Troy very happy.
So now, back to the studio, plus working on new material with Kenny.
All photos © Bill DiCecca