Ah, what a Friday the 13th! Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers hosting with Sean Patrick Taylor, Gavan Duffy and Mikey Powell.
I sat next to Mikey Powell’s grandmother and his mother sat beside her. We chatted quite a bit, about Mikey’s migraine and how pale he looked, about songwriting and poetry and the usual stuff folks talk about when they’re meeting for the first time. Grandma was a delight, so proud to be there to hear Mikey play. I was excited to hear him, too, having fallen in love with his song “Old Picture Frames” that gets some air play on Blue Moon Café, a local radio show I listen to on Sunday mornings. His lyrics are pure poetry. I was certain his performance would be magical, and I wasn’t disappointed. His songwriting style reminded me so much of John Prine, I was not at all surprised when he ended his show by singing a cover of Prine’s “Angel From Montgomery”. It was wonderful that this youngster is able to pay homage to Mr. Prine by writing songs equally as appealing. (Hubby and I will be going to see John Prine play at the State Theatre in Ithaca in February….my anniversary present….can’t wait.)
Sean Patrick Taylor, a musician I had not seen before, played some interesting tunes as part of the first set, sharing the stage with Jeffrey and Gavan. Jeffrey did many of his songs that I absolutely love….I’ll get the titles wrong and that’s not fair to him so I won’t attempt to name them...other than “Fly”. I love his song about humming his way back home, about being a dog for a day, and of course the one where he plays a wooden box and sings about that sycamore tree. Every time I see Jeffrey play I am reminded of what a fine musician he is in addition to writing amazing lyrics.
But I have to be honest here….and if you were in the audience, wouldn’t you agree with me? Gavan Duffy stole the show, folks. Even though he was nervous – he told us all about not having performed in front of a live audience for several decades – once he found his way into his first song, he had us all caught up in his words and rhythm. “Last Call for Alcohol” was a rip-roaring success….it was begging to become a sing-a-long, but I think the audience was too absorbed in listening to what the next verse was going to be about to sing along. I could have listened to Gavan play all night. I hope he’ll do more gigs like this in the future.
It was a grand time, a lot of musicians supporting other musicians, superb words and music in an inviting venue. Check it out sometime. You’ll leave humming a song you haven’t heard before that will stay with you long into the night.