After a couple of slow weeks for me at my two favorite Monday night haunts in Paris, the Tennessee Bar and Galway Pub open mics fired up my imagination and fed my own musical needs quite well last night. It was uncharacteristically quiet for a while at the Tennessee because of the summer holidays, but it was as busy as usual at the Galway. The Tennessee open mic became very interesting with the music of Kensuke Shoji, a violin player from Tokyo who plays some mean bluegrass as well as other interesting stuff. In fact, the high point there was certainly when Jesse Kincaid of the New Rising Sons invited Kensuke up on the stage to play with him while he did some of his songs.
Prior to that Jesse made my own night there and later at the Galway as well, when he played harmonica and lead guitar with me on some of my songs. But we were all blown away by Tony, the 88-year-old vaudeville-like performer from England who occasionally shows up at the Paris open mics. He did his usual guitar bits, his pianos stuff and his harmonica number. Tony is a consummate showman, old time. But he never fails to get people laughing and enjoying his abilities and dreaming about if we will ourselves be so bold and active as to do the same at his age – if we even make it that far.