Checked out both the Highlander open mic and the Cavern vocal jam session last night. I was particularly impressed at the Highlander by Thomas Brun’s electronic toys he hooks up the guitar and voice too. It is not the first time I have talked about these, but I’m starting to feel more and more like I should invest – it turns every musician into a Dick Van Dyke in the “Mary Poppins” film. Remember? Going around with a drum strapped to him and symbols on his feet and I don’t know what all? The one man band? But in this case, you just have your guitar, and so you do not look so silly. It is a way of getting around the simple guitar/vocal problem of performing alone.
It was quite a different experience at the Cavern. This, as readers of this blog know, is a cool vocal jam in which a very hot band plays standards of rock, blues, soul etc., and anyone from the audience can get up and sing the lyrics – which are located on a book of lyrics in front of you, as in karaoke. I stink at this exercise. But I like going to the Cavern anyway, and seeing just how bad I might potentially sound next to all the professional singers who seem to flock to this place. It can be very discouraging. But the high moment for me last night was to see and hear the guest musician who jumped in with his soprano saxophone during some of the songs. Listen to this guy in video – you have to let it advance a little before he comes in. Then you can think maybe I should have asked him if he could play “My Favorite Things,” like John Coltrane. I didn’t ask.