Brad Spurgeon's Blog

A world of music, auto racing, travel, literature, chess, wining, dining and other crazy thoughts….

Quiet, but Inventive Night at the Vieux Léon

January 31, 2013

The last few weeks at the Vieux Léon open mic have been fun, but have also had open mic nights with so many people in the bar not there for the music that the noise level has been frequently overpowering for the musicians. Last night, suddenly, the crowd seemed – with only minor exceptions – to be there entirely for the music. And the result was that it was possible to see how inventive and interesting some of the musicians are at this new Paris open mic rendezvous.

I somehow got to go up first of the evening – invited by the host Kim, after several weeks of Avalanche hosting the evening – and I did a couple of songs feel less than inventive, doing my song “If I Only Had You,” and Harry Chapin’s “Cat’s in the Cradle.” I jumped on doing that one due to the aforesaid calm of the spectators, who were there to listen to music, not just talk and drink.

But among the interesting surprises of the night were, especially, Michelle Blades taking to the mic this time with her ukulele. She had previously played with a guitar, but I learned last night that the ukelele is the instrument she started with, and returns to much of the time. In any case, the playing was different than your typical ukelele number, and it made me realize that her guitar-playing DOES have the mark of her ukelele playing on it. She said she composes her songs on the ukelele too….

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