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“good evening, neighbors . . . good evening, sidewalk strangers . . .

good evening police helicopter, too.”

Thanks to all of you who came down to the Wash to hear us last night.  Thought it would be a slow one when I first arrived, but was relieved to see you all there when we got up to play. But no matter who was taking the stage, I was so glad to see so many supporting the Wash, especially given the recent violence.  Playing “Black Dog”, “Crazy Mixed Up World”, and “One I Love” took on an (unfortunate) new urgency that didn’t hit me til we started “Black Dog”. Thanks to East Precinct for increasing their presence on the corner, at least temporarily–I hope it continues. Here’s the set list, or something closely resembling it:

  1. I’m Ready, Willing, Able (Fats Domino)
  2. Church House
  3. Find My Way
  4. Watching the Sun Go Down
  5. Tearing It Down
  6. Illinois 5 a.m.
  7. Casino Road
  8. Colfax
  9. Black Dog
  10. Crazy Mixed Up World
  11. Keep Your Hands Off Her (Leadbelly)
  12. One I Love

For those of you not there, I had Joe McMahan, Ron Eoff, and Marty Lynds playing with me. Kat Jones, though at the time on the clock, slinging shepherd’s pies and pints,  got up and sang on “One I Love”; she’s on the version that’s on the new record, and she sounds great.  Last night I introduced her as a fantastic vocalist, but she is also a very cool songwriter and artist.

Yesterday afternoon it was my great pleasure to participate in the East Academy Middle School’s first “poetry slam”–though in spirit it resembled a gathering of Beats more than anything (minus the chemicals and the haze). James Brown and jazz playing between poets, finger-snapping applause (unless clapping was requested by the reader).  I read a Denis Johnson poem, Sway; it’s always been a favorite–it’s a sonnet that, after a very conventional, kinda Victorian-sounding first line, (“Since I find you will no longer love”) explodes into something all its own. It was the first time I’d read any poetry in front of an audience in years. I was nervous, and it wasn’t even my own work.  Maybe at next month’s reading I’ll step up and read something of mine. I’d brought one, published in a journal 20 years ago–but soon as I looked at it I was wanting to revise it. It never ends, til it all ends, I guess; thank God. Let’s be careful out there.

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One Response to “good evening, neighbors . . . good evening, sidewalk strangers . . .

  1. Melly April 11, 2010 at 9:56 pm #

    Great show. You guys were on fire!

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