Every time I go to the new open mic at the Mazet Pub on rue St. André des Arts on Thursday night in the Paris Latin Quarter, I like it more and more – and I already liked it to start with. Okay, there is one problem: This is one of the loudest, most talkative audiences I know of! But they are also an appreciative audience that seems to enjoy both talking AND listening to the music, as they applaud and are generous in their compliments, their little dancing moves when the music moves, and a general sense of well-being.
Last night I was also really pleased that I resisted the temptation to NOT take my new Gibson J-200 with me. I had been thinking that since I had been having so much trouble with the amazing, yet complicated, Fishman pick up and all its controls, that I was better off taking my Seagull, which just plugs in and sings. But I fell to the temptation to bring the Gibson just because I love playing it. I am pleased I did because, in fact, it took no work at all – except turning on the anti-feedback switch – to get it sounding great. I only really knew it sounded great, however, when I gave it to Justin Purtill to use during his songs. Then I was able to stand at the bar and listen and appreciate his great fingerpicking playing as I heard the Gibson from the room PA and not from the stage monitor amp.
Justin and I later went up for a second set during which he played bass along to my songs, although he had never heard them before. He learned as we went along. Actually, not quite true: He did know “Crazy Love,” by Van Morrison, and that was cool just to slip into doing that perfectly.
Justin then played with a Frenchman whom he did not know and whose songs he did not know either. There were some cool things to come out of that too. In all, I’ll be returning as often as possible to the Mazet….