On April 4th, we traveled on that snowy Saturday to Weedsport to hear Mark play at Burritt's Cafe.
When we stepped inside Burritt's Cafe, I wondered if we'd arrived via subway...here was a slice of Greenwich Village transported to the midst of....of....well, nowhere, actually. What a delight this cafe is to the eye, to the ear and to the taste buds! Brick walls and antiques, delicious foods, owners who are charming and friendly as they take your orders and provide excellent service. I highly recommend the seafood bisque. Go visit them...it's worth the drive.
The stage area at Burritt's was definitely not constructed as an after thought. It allows the audience an intimacy with the performer, and Mark Zane is the perfect artist to take full advantage of the arrangement. He banters easily with the crowd, draws them into this songs until they are hanging onto his every word, never wanting the songs to end. Mark knows how to play to a crowd, changing gears to add a cover of "Country Roads" to his set so an elderly couple there to watch him (they'd been to previous shows) could dance, and they did, with elegance and grace. And the sound system here is amazing. You can tell the owners have a love and respect for music, it's not just something they think might be cool to add to the menu.
Mark welcomed a walk-in guest who happened to play the sax up on stage for that number and a couple more. It was the magic created by musicians who love what they do. The bass player, Steve Pederson, quietly played beside Mark, a powerful addition to Mark's music. We enjoyed hearing all our favorites....my particular favorite "Is There a Banjo In the House?", hubby's favorite "Ruby". We hummed "Hambone" all the way home. It was nice to hear him do a John Prine tune, also.
Mark Zane is a PRO....playing throughout the afternoon, making each and every song special, each song's story begging to be heard in spite of the rattle of dishes or folks placing lunch orders. Another performer mentioned previously in the blog would never have made it through his first attempt at a song here.
The highlight of the day? The cafe was a delightful surprise and Mark rocked the place. But what warmed our hearts on this snowy day was the news that Mark and Alice are engaged! Congratulations. Guess Mark isn't such a Knuckleheaded Fool after all.