Saturday, August 31, 2013
So, Reading PA is not the most up to date city in the US. It's a fairly depressed area, and Mike's Tavern sits in what could easily be a rowhome. If it weren't for the GPS in my phone, I'd be lost still. But Mike's Tavern, while a local dive bar, is very serious about their beer, their alcohol and their music. They have good single malt scotch and they have absinthe. They have four beers on tap that you haven't heard of, but which the bartendress will be happy to describe to you in terms of hoppiness and alcohol content. And they have open mic nights and good musicians in. At 7pm the after-work crowd is just finishing up. By 10pm the place is full of weekend couples out for drinks and companionship. Michael Ronstadt was slated to play from 8pm on, and invited me to join him, to premiere some of our songs. In his first set, we did "O Zebra" and "Little Jack Horner." "Little Jack Horner" was so good that the folks in charge asked it the song was on a CD. In the second set we did "Cassandra Blues" and "Falling Angels." I didn't realize we were going to do "Cassandra" and had to scribble the lyrics on a few pieces of paper and read them off, so the song didn't go off as well. "Falling Angels" is a frightfully difficult song and I botched the melody and Michael botched the timing and the whole thing fell flat. Sigh. We will have to review the song before our next outing. But I've seen great musicians get up at empty venues and give it their all -- Michael certainly does. So it was an educational and foundational experience. Looking forward to the next time. We'll nail "Falling Angels" yet. And we'll finish "Irish Queens" one of these days.