I had a lot of fun playing at Jammin Java last night at a Songwriters Association of Washington (SAW) show. It was great hearing a lot of guys I hadn’t heard before. I say “guys” because it somehow turned out to be an all-man show. There was a really nice crowd there to listen, including lots of other musicians and songwriters.
First was Nathaniel Brown, a young guy and a son of a folky musician. He sang with a hard style and sounded great. I got a CD from him, and I expect it to be some good basement grunge stuff with good lyrics, but I haven’t listened yet. Jim Heald was next, but I only caught a little of his stuff because I was in the green room. I did hear some nice chords, rising by whole tones, and I liked the little bit I heard of his singing, which reminded me of Mark heard’s high strident voice. Next was me, and I felt pretty good up there. The sound is usually real sweet at JJ, and it is easy to sing there. Sound guy Kirby did a nice job the whole night. I got some nice feedback afterward, including good comments for a new thing I tried called “Get Myself Together.”
Brother Lou was after me, and he sang some originals with a loud, raucous voice and clever lyrics, kind of like a more rowdy John Hyatt thing. Tom Whall played very tight, funky chords and licks on the guitar while singing in a high, clear tenor. I kept talking with people at our table about how slick and good he sounded. Tommy Rueckert played 12-string and sang in an early 70s style, including a James Taylor cover that got a great reaction from the crowd. Sol “Roots” also played a few numbers to help with sound check, doing sweet blues and reggae with some percussion buddies on the side. Former local folky Todd Crowley did two songs on his autoharp to switch up things, and host Ron Goad did his usual excellent job as emcee.
I did miss one performer, Karl Valentine, but I got to hear everyone else, and it was a treat. I got a copy of Jean Bayou’s new CD, and I’m looking forward to hearing that. These songwriter shows are always full of talented, creative people, and it’s always a treat to hear and meet other musicians.
SAW’s website is http://www.saw.org