Updated on October 15, 2010
Saratoga Springs, NY
We’d just confirmed the new venue a week ago and it was a minor miracle. (We met the miracle worker, the fantastic Jason Brown, who kept us sounding good all night.) The drive down from Burlington was full of fall color and blessedly free of road work. Circus Café on a Tuesday night didn’t look to be too full but then again we arrived after the dinner hour and just before the bar crowd showed. By the time Will went on, a swarm of people had arrived. He played a great set full of hometown references to people, places, and things. I started my set with “High On The Plains” and Will had his distortion pedal on a low setting. We played “Apparition” and “Oh My Sweet Cantankerous Baby.” Someone smiled at me during “Apparition” and I almost forgot where I was but the act fixed me in the moment. Once I figured out not to look in the mirror, we hit a groove. We were present in every word and note and we shifted on the fly. Not everything worked, but by the time I was leading the audience in the wordless outro of “Monitor Arms,” we’d manifested something with them. And by the time I was playing the harp through the megaphone, I realized that I’d played a more rock and roll show last night than in Portland or Vermont. Those previous shows were listening rooms and warranted a more contemplative take on my music. A friend told me afterwards that I had a good lower register voice for the storytelling that I’m attempting with my music and I was grateful to hear that. Mark and Jeff from Racing City Ghosts put on a rousing, anthemic show reminiscent of the Gaslight Anthem. My music has always been more about the loner than the shared experience but I hope it transcends that at times. The lasting impression was of that smile from the right side of the bar. We celebrated into the Saratoga night.