Monday, April 1, 2013

Under the Sun at Starbucks

Playing in the Sunny Courtyard, L to R: Dave Farrell,
Paul Grinvalsky, Bob Arsenault, John Movius, John Rodriguez
I hope all of you who celebrate and/or observe it had a wonderful Easter yesterday.

Saturday I went to play the Open Mic Rancho San Diego for the second week in a row.  This week it was held in the gorgeous outdoor courtyard at one of the two Starbucks on Jamacha Boulevard in El Cajon.  Click HERE to see more photos from the day on my Facebook page.

I had been to this open mic at this Starbucks two weeks earlier, when I went to first check it out and met Co-Organizer and Singer/Guitarist Paul Grinvalsky.  I played this open mic for the first time the following Saturday (March 23rd), when it was held at nearby Hooley's Irish Restaurant and Pub.  Coming back to play at Starbucks this time, I was delighted that it was another beautiful, warm sunny day, perfect for performing music.

As I've been sharing in recent posts, I continue to deal with some of my old inner fears and anxieties around performing.  But this day I could really feel a difference in my comfort level.  I was far more relaxed, really there to soak up the experience, enjoy the other people there, and have fun playing my songs.

Before I went on I had a nice chat with fellow singer-songwriter-guitarist Cliff Niman, who told me last week about a great open mic in Santee that I plan to check out this Thursday night.  Cliff went on to do his set shortly after our chat, and I really enjoyed him.  His set this day was all covers, and he's got a great singing voice I really appreciate.  

Co-Organizer and Singer Teri Hoffman and Paul Grinvalsky were, once again, as I imagine they are every week, the most gracious and welcoming of hosts.  I brought my own amplifier to use this time, and Paul helped me get it set up and plugged into the sound system before I played.  I want to extend huge thanks to both of them for their continued commitment to this great weekly event, and commend them for the excellent job they do seeing that it all runs smoothly.

I was joined on stage, as I was last week at Hooley's, by Dave Farrell, a fantastic drummer, and John "J-Rod" Rodriguez, a wonderful bass player.  We played "Home of Love" to start off, then went on to "Love by the Lake," and finished up with "Picture of Your Touch."  I played "Picture of Your Touch" a handful of times on LIVE from The Basement last year, but this was the first time playing it for an in-person live audience and first time with bass and drums.  It felt really great right from the start, and Dave and John jumped right in with me on the opening chords.

I want to thank Jim Mahoney also, an attentive audience member who gave me some nice compliments on my set afterwards.  I appreciate that very much!

It was so great to be a part of this event for a second time.  The wonderful people who run, play at, and come out to support it really do it for the pure love of live music.  I hope to be a part of it many more times.

Tonight it's the weekly "Russian Roulette" situation at the Lestat's West Open Mic in Normal Heights.  I'll put my name in for the drawing at 6:30pm PT, and we'll see what happens...I may get to play, I may not.  Always an exciting adventure, this musician's journey of mine!

Thanks so much for reading.

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