Preshow: A beautiful, warm May evening. Breezed in, and I was seated up front, 4 chairs from the stage, noted that I was one of a handful of women there. I guess not a lot of women would go out of their way to see Jorma. But I say, it’s their loss, my gain. The men around me were friendly, and so psyched for this show. As was I. Until I realized I forgot my earplugs. Oops.
Show: If you don’t know, Les Paul used to play here every Monday night, and now they have dedicated the night to Les.
Act 1: Tom Doyle. He plays a few great songs on the banjo, tells stories on the first time he met Les. It feels like family.
Act 2: The Les Paul Trio. So beautiful. So fun. Smiles all around. Guitar: Lou Pallo, Piano: John Callione, Upright bass: Paul Lewinsky. Wow, these men were great, jazzy and fun. They played The Lady is a Tramp, Blue Skies, and other songs that were not on my radar or didn’t have any words. This beautiful woman with an incredible voice, Jamie Raynes (?), came out and belted Someone to Watch Over Me. It was wonderful. People were smilin’. We were told that Les Paul’s son was in the audience. Again, family.
Act 3: Steve Rossi of Allen and Rossi. I felt like I was in the Sands in Vegas in 1963. Where was Dean Martin? We were treated to one liners of the Henny Youngman era, and I laughed. We all roared. He is a funny, funny man. The place relaxed, the one liners didn’t stop. And then he sang. Here’s a sample, but I don’t think he sang this song. It was awesome.
Then Jorma came on. I couldn’t contain myself, I was so close to the stage, I was so happy, I was with other kind folks who was just as happy as I was. The Iridium was packed. It started off with Jorma, GE Smith and Barry Mitterhoff with the Les Paul Trio for a few songs. Then the Trio left and we had Jorma, GE and Barry for a bit
alone, then the Trio came back on. My good lord, it was incredible. I was close enough to see Jorma’s gold tooth, these picks on his first three fingers (ah hah! that’s how he gets the sound!) I could see them all pluck their strings….it was heaven. It was a beautiful acoustic set, everyone on stage was having a blast, I looked around and the whole audience was smiling. They teased White Rabbit, what a tease that was. GE and Jorma laughed at it…. I was secretly hoping they’d go through with the song. But no. Jorma’s sweet voice made my insides shine, it was so lovely. GE brought out his slide and played. There were some hippies boppin on the side of the club, and in the back. We were hootin’ and hollerin’ and sending love. We all knew this was a special night, the spirit of Les Paul was with us.
Thank you Jorma, all that were in attendance knew what we were witnessing. Wow. I floated home. Speechless. It’s nights like these that I truly remember how music affects me. How high I get from it. And how brightly I shine afterwards. I was shining.
Partial Set List: I Know You Rider, River of Time, Edie?