This week wrapped up with my third gig in seven days’ time. I played in the acoustic duo with flutist Katherine Barbato at PHL Int’l Airport last Friday, a solo date at World Cafe Live on Tuesday and an electric jazz gig with Howard Miller & Friends on Thursday night. Three different settings with a bit of hold-over between the solo and duo dates. But each one was a blast.
The airport performance was actually pretty steady and not too overwhelming. Depending on the time you can get frazzled by the constant announcements and the rush of people and general frenzy that often permeates that scene. Katie and I lucked out being positioned amidst large Lexan display cases on floor level where we could actually hear each other when the PA was too far away.
World Cafe Live, while a prestigious venue, had the most dicey sound, mostly because of the monitors. During the check they sounded fine, a bit treble-y but good. Once the show started, two songs into the set, I mostly heard the finger noise as I played and it never went away. That distraction along with the fact that the room design amplifies voices from the audience to the stage made it a bit nerve-wracking. The low turnout didn’t help much either, but then I always draw more when I’m away from home. (Philly and I still don’t get along, it seems….)
Howard’s gig, on the other hand, was energized and on the mark. We did tiptoe through a Monk tune, but the group played one of it’s best nights ever. I’m glad I was there. We even did my ‘Ballad’ and it sounded great.
Guitar-wise, I played the LaPatrie cutaway from Godin for the duo and solo dates and used the resident sound systems via a direct box with a small diaphragm condenser mic added for good measure. I used my mid-70s Hagstrom Viking through the lovely Lab L3 for Howard’s gig and it was superb once again. My signature jazz sound, to be sure.
The Bootleg CD looks like a real-deal release now — stay tuned for updates on the CD, videos and upcoming shows.