The open mic is back in gear every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Kaffee Meister
Last week Greg and I started setting up equipment at 4:30 because we knew we were going to have a big crowd. The Gateway West guitar students were coming for their semester recital; when they play, their families and friends show up to support them. That, on top of our recent history of big turnouts, prompted us to start early so our regular performers wouldn’t be squeezed, time wise. There were eight students plus their instructor and Greg did a masterful job of mic-ing them and getting a good sound mix. Who knew we could fit nine people into the corner we consider our stage area?
The Gateway West Guitar Class: Curtis Cartier, Mario Salgado, Trevor Johnston, Luis Castrejon, Brian Hamlin, Victoria Reed, Wes De Long, and Nathan Medina – Diogo Andrade had done a fine job of teaching these students; they were really in sync with each other. The group did three tunes with Diogo singing the lyrics. They had one electric guitar, and on the last tune it was passed from student to student so they could each demonstrate their lead playing skills. It was a very impressive performance and the audience seemed to enjoy seeing them do their thing.
Amos Jessup – Amos was a first time performer for our open mic, although he and Greg Gross had played in jam sessions together a few years back. He played a tune he had written, inspired by an unusual news story about a naked man trapped on the drain pipe of a local bank—he called it “Mrs. Henley’s Revenge” (it was fun, you had to hear the whole story); he also did Richard Thompson’s “1952 Vincent Black Lightning”; and Steve Cormier’s “Calico Dress”.
Greg Gross – I think Greg does an especially good job on John McCutcheon’s “Calling All the Children Home”; then he did Duane Elms’ “Don’t Push That Button”, complete withsound effects; and finished with his own song, “Trolley Car”.
Bob Setzer – Bob played “Don’t Change” by INXS (Michael Hutchence & Andrew Farriss); and a couple of his own tunes, “Shut the Whole World Out”; and “Dreaming of You”.
Lynda Sterns & Steve Wyrill – The duo sounded especially good this evening; their voices blended nicely on their whole set which, included Crosby Stills & Nash’s “Teach Your Children”; and Chad & Jeremy’s “Summer Song”. They included a tribute to the late Patti Page, with “Tennessee Waltz”; and finished with The Beatles’ “Please, Please Me”.
John Movius (with Lynda Sterns & John Rodriguez) – John figured that Lynda could enhance his set with her talents, too. They did The Everly Brothers’ “All I Have to Do is Dream”; Ricky Nelson’s “Hello Mary Lou”; The Beatles’ “I Call Your Name”, and “This Boy”; The Searchers’ “Love Potion Number 9”; and John finished his time with a short instrumental filler of the Venturers’ “Perfidia”.
Bob Cool – Bob did a solo guitar set of Don Williams’ “Falling in Love”; Billie Holiday’s “All of Me”; Eddy Arnold’s “Make the World Go Away”; Louis Armstrong’s “Sunny Side of the Street”; and The Kingston Trio’s “One More Town”. Bob is a multi-talented instrumentalist.
Les Armstrong & Ray Poe (with Greg Gross) – Ray started the duo out with Robert Mitchum & Dean Martin’s “Little Ol’ Wine Drinker Me”; Les replied with Buck Owens’ “Love’s Gonna Live Here Again”; Ray came back with Charlie Pride’s “Anybody Going to San Antone?”; Les added Keith Whitley’s “I Never Go Around Mirrors” and ended with Jerry LeeLewis’s “Whole Lotta Shaking Going On.”
Cliff Niman (with J-Rod) – Cliff did Mad River’s “The Paradise Bar and Grill”; Flatt & Scruggs’ “Rock Salt and Nails”; and Steve Gillette & Tom Campbell’s “Darcy Farrow”.
Greg Santogrossi – Greg has taken time off from performing recently with a sore throat. This week he was back in shape and brought a new song, Frank Sinatra’s “The Summer Wind”; then he did his own crowd pleasers, “Mexico”; and “I’m a Little Bit Slow”.
Tom Barbarie (with Ray Poe & Les Armstrong) – Tom and the guys led off with Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried”; then added George Jones’ “I’ll Be Over You When the Grass Grows Over Me”; Kris Kristofferson’s “Me and Bobby McGee”; and Johnny Cash’s “I Still Miss Someone”;
Diogo Andrade – Diogo stuck around after the students left to play a set for us. He did the Beatles’ “Norwegian Wood”; Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again”; Simon and Garfunkle’s “Homeward Bound”; and Steve Miller’s “The Joker (Space Cowboy).
Tim Woods (with J-Rod) – I played Rosemary Clooney’s “This Old House”; The Zach Brown Band’s “Country Fried”; and Jimmy Rodgers’ “Kisses Sweeter Than Wine”; and Jerry Jeff Walker’s “Mr. Bojangles” (The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band had a huge hit with it).
Greg and I closed the evening by leading the audience on Dale Evans’ “Happy Trails”.
We continue to fill the Kaffee Meister to capacity; it’s a great place for a performer to play to a big audience. Speaking of the Kaffee Meister; I must say their new menu of soup and rolls has made a solid hit with our crowd—I love their chicken and dumpling, and their clam chowder; my wife’s favorite is their potato soup. Drop on by for dinner at the open mic or come by during the week for a nice warm lunch. God bless, be of good cheer, and have a good week.
Tim Woods, Greg Gross, and the Wood ‘n’ Lips open mic crew
Kaffee Meister is looking for Local Musicians to Build Up Santee Scene