When I heard about a potential job in New Orleans, even before I knew Kady was in the works of coming along, I created a fantasy of this old Cajun backwoods bayou music scene. In my fantasy, I would traipse on down to some hole-in-the-wall open mic and overcome my stage fright and play a couple songs and that would somehow lead to my adoption into a band of gypsy creole traveling minstrels.
Wednesday night... that happened.
Just in time for me to be leaving in one week.
The plan was simply to check it out- find out what the rules were, see if it's something we thought we'd like to do before we leave town and by it I mean play a couple of songs in front of a bunch of strangers we'll never see again. I was gonna play it down-low spy cool Wednesday- just observation, no interaction. If we liked what we saw, we'd come up with some material and return the following week. But, you see... Kady was with me.
She extolled me as a songwriter and as the night grew late and the crowd grew sparse, I ran out of excuses and, in what was either the nicest bullying or most antagonistic flattery in the history of coercion, was dragged onstage. I asked DR, the resident bartender/amazing pianist/emcee for the evening for just a smidge of liquid courage. (When I say I have stage fright, I mean that I have paralyzing stage fright: Illogical, pathological, physiological fright where my stomach ties itself into knots inducing painful nausea and my hands shake and I have muscle spasms in my legs. Any logical person would ask, "why bother?"). DR said he could do me one better. "Let's go full on Janis," he said, and handed me a bottle of Jack with about two ounces remaining.
I indulged him with the above photo op as he chanted, "Let's go Janis!"
I think what he meant was I'm really pretty just like her.
image of Janis Joplin looking fresh as a youthful daisy at the age of 23
borrowed from http://www.grubstreet.ca/assets/artimg/janisjoplin3
At this point the only ones left in the restaurant's back room were four gentleman musicians between the ages of 45 and 65, a 24 year old ingenue singer-songwriter, and our host and resident bard, DR. Bud had just won a $2500 guitar in a Nashville song-writing contest. Mike brought Kady and me to tears in his quivering Jeff Buckley voice.
The slightly off-key singing can be blamed on me... my mouth was about an inch from the mic of the camera (oops.)
Then we jammed. Oh how we jammed.
I'm not one to wax moralistic, but the moral of my story is clear: Dreams (and yes we did jam to Fleetwood Mac) really do come true. Just in time for their realization to be impeded by reality.