Brad Spurgeon's Blog

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

An Italian Opera singer, an American Who Tries out Astral Weeks, and a Cellist – a Cool Monday at the Open Mics in Paris

May 3, 2011

I think that my headline should be longer than my story. But last night was a very cool one, despite the fact that I simply went to the same open mics as usual in Paris, the Galway Pub and the Tennessee Bar’s open mics. There is a back and forth between the two of musicians and moments. But last night, I must admit, I was more touched at the Galway than at the Tennessee. Of course, I didn’t hang around long enough at the Tennessee, no doubt.

There was a band I had seen before at the Tennessee and I did not catch their name, but it has a good singer and a wicked cellist, and that makes the difference. Check out the video; and if you like it, the band is doing its own concert at the Tennessee at some point soon.

At the Galway I walked in just in time to hear an American from Texas who looks like Steve Forbert but who belongs to a band called Superfly… no… Horslips… no… Horsefly… singing a song by Van Morrison that is one of the most difficult to tackle and comes from his Astral Weeks album. I ordered a beer and I was hearing this song and I suddenly realized this was a rare moment, because I have never heard anyone trying to sing this song before in an open mic – or anywhere else. So I whipped out the camera before taking the beer, and I got the final minutes or seconds of the song.

Then later in the evening we were surprised by the superb and inspiring performance of an Italian opera singer who had stopped by for a beer and decided after me to sing a single song – thank goodness it was AFTER me. Rony of the Romantic Black Shirts played guitar for the man.

Peripatetic Night in Paris

May 1, 2011

Just a lot of walking last night, from one venue to another, making a stop off here and a stop off there. I started at the Disquaires to listen to the band of a friend, The Grass Windows, but I arrived about five minutes too late. I visited a number of the bars around that Bastille neighborhood and then headed on to the Bizart, near the Place de la Nation, to hear the Romantic Black Shirts – another band of a friend, those who had played with me when I played at the Disquaires.

Then I visited a number of venues and bars in the Oberkampf area, and as I was heading to another one up in Menilmontant I heard some musicians outside the Menilmontant metro and I looked up to see Haylen and her band – or at least some of her band (joined by someone I don’t know). Haylen, whom I have written about for her playing at the Monday and Wednesday night open mics, said she plays there a lot on Saturday night, sometimes through much of the night. But I caught her at a moment when there were hardly any spectators. Still, it was a nice and fun moment to once again run into someone from the open mics in the street (after doing the same on Thursday).

So all in all I walked many kilometers and returned home to conk out completely and soundly, ready for today’s brunch.

BSP: GIG at Disquaires

February 26, 2011

Flyer for the Brad Spurgeon concert at the Disquaires in Paris

Flyer for the Brad Spurgeon concert at the Disquaires in Paris

I’ve got nothin’ to write on this blog as all I’ve been doing is preparing for my gig tomorrow at the Disquaires in Paris near the place de la Bastille. I will be performing with two of the five musicians I worked with on my recordings at the Point Ephemere last summer. Virgile will join me on bass and Félix will play lead guitar. We had a great practice session and I am just fabulously excited about the concert. Hope some readers of the blog can make it.

Three segments to the night: Calvin McEnron playing from 8:30 on his set, my set around 9:30 and The Romantic Black Shirts will do their set after mine.

Ciao and à demain. Oh, the Disquaires: 6 rue des Taillandiers * 75011 Paris * M° Ledru Rollin ou Bastille

Oh, yes, and this means no Sunday brunch tomorrow.

Mini Post: Romantic Black Shirts at the Biz’Art Bar

February 12, 2011

Just a mini post to have an excuse to put up a couple of quick videos of the group called The Romantic Black Shirts, that played at the Biz’Art bar in the 11th Arrondissement in Paris last night. It was a great atmosphere, and the band played some nice laid back tunes. This is the band that will be playing on the same bill as me on 27th February at the Disquaires.

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