Great Summer Gigs

The Matt Richards Group (Matt – guitars; Adrian Valosin – drums; Steve Beskrone – bass)

Even though the Summer months have been a bit on the light side when it comes to the amount of dates I/we have booked, the performances have been stellar (and I’m not bragging)! So much contributes to the quality of a show — even if you have a great band the venue can be miserable sound-wise, the management can be problematic, the listeners rude (or maybe non-existent)… None of these frequent hassles has plagued any of my Summer performances.

I have covered my solo performance at the Montreal Jazz Festival in a previous posting so I won’t re-relate the experience here. The two shows I played on July 25th at the Grand Opera House in Wilmington DE couldn’t have been better.

Matt performs solo for the Summer Salon outdoor series at the Grand Opera House in Wilmington DE

My first show at the Grand was a noontime outdoor feature right on N.Market Street in front of the venue. While I’ve had my share of disconcerting situations during street-level performances, this was not the case here. There was no actual traffic congestion or overly-loud vehicles passing by, the sound had no echo off the buildings across the street (amazing but true!) and the listeners were very respectful. Most stopped  for several pieces while others paused briefly before heading back to work, acknowledging my performance with a nod, smile or mimed applause. I played the full 90 minute spot without a break. Of course, Stacey and the tech staff deserve loads of credit for having everything perfectly arranged. Additionally, Pam was in attendance and made certain things went as they should. This is the way street gigs should be done!

My repertoire included my usual mix of originals alongside tunes by three Beatles, Hendrix, Marley and several standards — everything included liberal doses of improvisation and re-harmonization. Lots of new ideas happened on the spot, which is always a blast for me and the audience. It seems the videos are not the best in terms of sound quality. (I will don my lab coat and protective headgear and get lost in the lab and see if I can rescue anything.)

I’ll be back with my account of the evening’s Group performance — hopefully with video this time.

See You Soon.


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