Everybody was anxious to get back at it after the Thanksgiving break; we had a full house early on and people were enthusiastic. I’m still receiving nice comments on the choice of a new venue—Frubble is a hit with our crowd. The feeling is mutual; Mark, Frubble’s owner, loves our people and is impressed with the musicality of our performers.
6:30 Wood ‘n’ Lips: We took the opportunity to do a last minute practice for the Saturday Allen Singer Tribute concert. We planned to play Elizabeth Cotton’s “Freight Train”; Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land”; Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice”; and Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi”. The open mic is a great vehicle for testing material—these needed a little more work. At the last minute we substituted “Catch a Falling Star” for “Big Yellow Taxi”. Our set on Saturday went well; it was a great concert, and we were fortunate to be included in the program. Several of San Diego’s most prominent folk and blues artists performed to a capacity crowd at Poway’s Templar’s Hall. Allen would be pleased to know he was so well thought of.
6:45 Rebekah Williams: Rebecca dusted off her guitar, after about a four-year hiatus and impressed us by playing the Dixie Chicks’ “Love of a Travelin’ Soldier”; “The House of the Rising Sun”, which goes way back, but was popularized by the Animals in the sixties; and June Carter Cash’s “Ring of Fire”
7:00 The Pony Tales: Doreen and Lynda started their set with a Johnny Cash tune, an Irish number, “Forty Shades of Green” (Johnny O’Cash?); then added another traditional Irish tune, “Red as the Rose” (aka the Scottish “Loch Lomond”); and Bonny Raitt’s “Do I Ever Cross Your Mind?”. Their harmonies were spot on.
7:15 Jerry Pena: Played one of my wife’s favorite tunes, George Strait’s “I Wanna Dance with You”; then two of my favorites, Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” and Harry Chapin’s “Taxi”. Jerry chooses his songs well; it was a great set.
7:30 Bob Cool: Bob did a solo guitar set. He also chose to pay tribute to the Man in Black, ala Johnny Cash’s “Home of the Blues”; and gave nods to Louis Armstrong with his “It’s Been a Long, Long Time”; Patsy Cline’s “Heartaches” made his list; as did Don Williams’ “Falling in Love”; Ray Price’s “The Other Woman”; and The Kingston Trio’s “One More Town”. How did he do so many tunes in one set?
7:45 Les, Alton & Ray: Alton was back after a stint in the hospital; with Alton’s high wide country voice, the honky-tonk trio did Buck Owens’ “Love’s Gonna Live Here”; Eddie Rabbit’s “Two Dollars in the Juke Box”; The Stanley Brothers’ “Just Because”; and Merle Haggard’s “Sing a Sad Song”. These guys are pros.
8:00 Cliff Niman: Cliff was playing a pretty vintage Guild guitar that he inherited from a friend; he led off with Peter, Paul & Mary’s “Puff the Magic Dragon”, the audience enthusiastically joined in; his next song was about his guitar benefactor, “Lord, Shine Your Love Down on Me”; and a song written by a friend of his, Marilyn Mason, “Where the Paved Road Ends”.
8:15: Bob Wilson: Did a set with a theme—let’s see if you can figure it out. The first was about Johnny Steel and his car, an Oldsmobile, “Merry Oldsmobile”; the next, also a car-related tune, was about Johnny O’Connor and his Flivver (Model T Ford), the song is “Get Out and Get Under”, which says a lot; the last Johnny he sang about was a boat owner, his song was “Row, Row, Row” (not “Row, Row, Row your Boat”).
8:30 Rose Scibelli & Doreen Harlow: The ladies paired up to give us Rodney Crowell’s “Song for Life”; Vince Gill’s “Jenny Dreamed of Trains”; Lynda joined them for Flatt & Scruggs’ “Don’t This Road Look Rough and Rocky”. It was a good pairing; Rose usually uncovers some musical gems for our listening pleasure.
8:45 Big Al: Al has a distinctive style that gives whatever he is playing his own unique sound. This evening he applied his technique to Elton John’s “I Need You to Turn To”; The Eagles’ “Peaceful Easy Feeling” (that’s another song everyone sings along with); Neil Young’s “The Losing End”; and John Denver’s “Country Roads”.
9:00 Pamela Reinagel: Pamela recorded her backup band and had Greg play it back off her I-Phone—there’s an app for that (it actually came through strong and clean). She and her band-in-hand did the John Hartford written tune that Glen Campbell put on the charts, “Gentle on My Mind”; Stephen Voitko’s “To the Blues”; an original she wrote, “She Let Her Sword Fall”; and the classic “St. James Infirmary”.
1. 9:15 John Movius, Greg Gross & Tom Barbarie: John brought down the final curtain for the evening with Milton Drake & Ben Oakland’s “Java Jive”; Greg Gross joined him for Duane Eddy’s “Forty Miles of Bad Road” and Ricky Nelson’s “Garden Party”; Tom Barbarie replaced Greg for Graham Parson’s “Streets of Baltimore”; and a final Johnny Cash tune, “Home of the Blues”. It was a banner night for Mr. Cash.
Those of you who have signed up for the Bluegrass, Folk and Gospel Cruise in January and are concerned about weight gain from eating seven times a day will be interested in the following information. I gleaned this from the San Diego Union Tribune. “One hour of playing folk music on a guitar while sitting burns 136 calories (based on a 150-pound person) or the equivalent of 0.2 Big Macs.” Bluegrass has to burn even more calories; we might even try standing up and swaying for some aerobic action—we’re in luck; now we can stuff ourselves at the midnight buffet! (How many calories do you suppose are in a toe-tap?)
As usual, we had a big audience and lotsa talent; thanks everybody for coming and supporting our open mic and its new venue. Several people have made Frubble their dinner destination of choice on Thursdays. Let’s help this venue prosper and last us for several years!
Come on by soon and join us at Frubble; God bless, and be of good cheer.
Tim Woods, Greg Gross, and the Wood ‘n’ Lips open mic crew
Photos by Greg Gross, Tim Woods, and Marge Woods.