Birthday Extravaganza, Day 2 Pre-Party: I spent all day cooking and getting the house ready for the first party I’ve had in the new place. My BFF came over and was truly the party saver. Without her we wouldn’t have cups or utensils to eat the lasagna or drink the drinks. And the napkins. (Thanks Dianne!, truly the party mule) The scene was intimate, about 5 or 6 people, which is actually a nice size for these NYC apartments. I opened the champagne, and I started to get a bit giggly. A sign that it was time to go down to The Highline Ballroom, to see Marco Benevento and Joe Russo. Travel arrangements made by Eric, thank you.
Benevento/Russo Duo: (download this show here) Never seeing the Duo, yet knowing both artists separately I was very, very excited to see these guys together. They rarely play together these days, with Joe Russo touring with Furthur and others, and Marco Benevento playing with Garage a Trois, and others. I guess sometimes the scheduling gets in the way. I knew this was a special night. Especially when my 2 friends got miracled for the show with free tickets that just sort of flew into our hands that evening. Birthday surprises had begun.
The Highline Ballroom was packed when the three of us walked inside. We eventually made our way upstairs where a table was open and waiting for us. The Birthday Bubble was closing in on us, and nothing was gonna hold us back from having an amazing time. The two guys on stage didn’t disappoint either.
To describe what happened on the stage is, well… it was fantastic jazz. Old school Baby Grand piano with a small amount of drums on the stage. That was it. Two instruments. Two incredible players. Talent oozing off the stage. A twenty minute Blues for Allah, jazzy enough to the point where I couldn’t figure out it was a Grateful Dead song. Truth be told, until I saw the set list I didn’t know any song that was being played. It was that great kind of old jazz where you think about small jazz clubs in Chicago, people are smoking their cigarettes and drinking their whiskey and tapping their feet. It was that vibe, and friends came over to me throughout the night to wish me birthday wishes and celebrate. It was beautiful, indeed.
Bobby Lee Rodgers Trio, Sullivan Hall:
After laughing with and kissing and hugging goodbye to the crew uptown we departed to go down to the West Village to my other favorite place, Sully Hall, to see Bobby Lee Rodgers. I knew of him from Wanee and was excited to hear some guitars and southern rock. Who am I to say no to guitars and southern rock? I saw more friends outside the venue, who knew it was my birthday and we were walked into Sullivan Hall celebratory style. After a drink with my girl, another drink with my buddy, I have to admit, I was feeling no pain.
I went to my normal spot on the side of the stage and danced myself silly. I’d say there were about 50 people in there, a late night show (starting at 11:30) and incredibly funky. Bobby is truly a master on that guitar, drum beat keeping it all moving along… whoooo. Fun fun fun stuff. Bobby is not to be missed when he comes to your part of town.
In the crowd was a familiar face, Eric Krasno from Soulive, and I said hi to him. Usually I am rather shy when it comes to saying hello to certain musicians of a certain caliber, but this night I was in rare form. I even asked him for a picture, which he graciously said of course. Yep, rare form indeed, floating on an incredible music, surrounded by beautiful friends and having the time of my life.
Thanks to all who celebrated with me in the Birthday Bubble….musicians included!