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Tales from Tennessee to Galway

December 17, 2013

Wild life in Tennessee

Wild life in Tennessee

PARIS – I guess that headline is meant to be a little misleading, since the Tennessee refers to the Tennessee Bar and the Galway refers to the Galway pub, and not to the places in the U.S. and Ireland. But for all the different nationalities of patrons and musicians present at the two open mics in Paris last night, it might as well have been the real Tennessee and the real Galway.

The highlights of it all? Well, the Tennessee open mic seems to be attracting more and more French performers, singing often in French, and that’s refreshing. I loved hearing Audrey’s voice again, after I met her and jammed with her at the open mic of the Arte Café in Paris, which is no longer running. Audrey has a tremendous blues feeling to her strong voice.

And speaking of French, Ollie, the MC, did a new French language song, and it was massively cool! It reminded me ever so slightly – or more – of Jean-Louis Aubert of Telephone, the French rock band of a generation ago. And speaking of blues, there was this guy at the Tennessee who sat as an observer, and then came along with us when we headed over to the Galway, and he ended up telling me his story. He lives in New York City and just came for a short trip to Paris to check out the music scene and have a holiday.

He calls himself Blues Buddha, and plays all over NYC. He has some interesting videos up on the web on his cool web site, and when we got to the Galway, I decided to ask if he wanted to join me for a song or two. Unfortunately, although I love the blues – the best of it – and so much rock it based on the blues, I do not myself play any pure blues song. But we managed to find a song on my repertoire that we both know, and that was the classic “Stand By Me.” Even, there, though, I play a pretty bad, bastardized version of it.

In any case, the Blues Buddha joined me for that one and sang. Other than that, I had another American, Max, join me on violin for my other three songs at the Galway, and he added a few backup vocals too. All in all, a great evening at the two mainstay open mics of Monday in Paris (not counting the Coolin).

PS, unfortunately I’m in a place with an internet connection that is not as fast as my fibre optic connection and it is taking forever to upload the videos. So I’ll have to upload more later.

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