From time to time it happens. The angels desert you and you have a bad night. Last Sunday was bad. There were a few moments when the bar was entirely empty. Zack smiled at me and shrugged his shoulders. “It’s just another rehearsal.” This was the consolation offered. I had to take it.
We didn’t have the excuse of the rain. We have been teetering back and forth this season. A good week then a bad. Sometimes we fill the joint. There is a convergence. I thought the good weather and the super moon would be the breath in our sails. They sure were for me.
We rocked the joint anyways. I took the opportunity to take several extended solos, blasting the amp, as I attempted to tame the it’s snarling, wild-cat feedback. Kosi took up the gauntlet and employed her full range of ghostly, jazz vocalizations and screaming rock incantations. Zack tripped out with us on the bass as we descended on LOVE, tearing it to pieces and then reassembling it.
An old man at the end of the bar applauded dutifully. His eyes were downcast on the watery bourbon before him. In a distant booth a lone couple also sprinkled on their appreciation. The high point was the woman outside. Not having a dime for drinking, she danced and jumped and sang along on the side walk just beyond the door. At intermission she dashed into the bar to hand us a dirty, crumpled dollar. “I love your music.” she gasped, her eyes darting around for Jerry the bouncer.
It’s been a long slog building an audience here. We have many more good nights then bad. But the bad ones are vivid reminders of how it was just a year ago. Back then I told Kosi that the joint was like an audience black hole: “The problem with Paris Blues is… ” I said. “Is that you invite 100 people, 20 say they will come, 10 actually show up and still you only have 5 people in the house.”