Live audio from my performance on May 19th, 2012 at Sullivan Hall in New York City is now up and available to stream or download at http://archive.org/details/gwa2012-05-19
I really enjoyed getting to play in New York City for the 2nd year in a row. Thanks to my cousins for swinging out and hosting (it was neat to get cousins from both sides of my family hanging out). Before the show, we walked a few miles to take in the sights, had a pit-stop at the city’s oldest Irish Pub called McSorely’s, and happened upon a small but lively cultural heritage street festival (Romanian, if I remember correctly – maybe Lithuanian… either way, we stood out like sore thumbs).
A few pints and grub in our bellies, we made our way back to the venue. The concert was a fundraiser for Ovarian Cancer research and it was great to meet the organizers and volunteers to whom the cause was so dear. It was truly inspirational. The bands put on an incredible show – I caught most of Smooth Money Gesture, Jatoba, and Twiddle – they all tore it up.
I’m really glad I was able to get the audio from this show to share – It was a popular weekend for graduations so more than a few friends and family couldn’t make it (and I, unfortunately, had to miss a family graduation – sorry and congrats A and A!). For those who missed it, here’s the next best thing.
“Little Secret” starts off a little rough as the sound-engineer and I synced up our levels, but the audio and my nerves settled in nicely for the rest of the show. I was talkative throughout my set – I think it helped keep me loose but in-the-moment, and I didn’t want my solo performance to seem empty compared to the full bands before and after me, so I added in a personal touch here and there and had fun with it.
Though I didn’t mention it at the time, I played “My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)” by Neil Young as a tribute to my uncle who passed away unexpectedly earlier this year. He came to Sullivan Hall the year prior for my NYC debut and I have fond memories of hanging with him after my set. His physical absence this year was tough, but his love-of-life continues to reverberate and resonate in those of us who were lucky enough to know him. One of our last conversations was about me playing a Neil Young-inspired music festival hosted by his buddy – He was always putting people in touch to help one another out – so it was special for me to think of him during that one and throughout the night.
The rest of the set was a mix of original songs – some from my latest albums and some rarities. It was important to me to dedicate “Bohemian” in remembrance of my friend’s mom (who lived with cancer for years) as a reminder of the greater cause of the night.
“OK” and “Wild Love” were freshly written, so it was challenging but fun to try those – it is so energizing to play new songs. I even got to sneak in a new blue-grass arrangement I’d been working on for my song “Amens Hallelujahs” when I realized that nobody had turned on the house music when my time was up – listen closely and you can hear me “negotiating” with the sound engineer about it as he was running past the stage back to the soundboard – at first he said “no”, but I promised him it would be quick – I was going to milk the stage for as long as I could – It’s not everyday I get to play NYC 🙂
A good lil’ crew carried on for a bit after the show, trying to keep up with the endless energy of the city, but eventually we wrapped up and called it a night. I was asleep for about 30 minutes when one of my cousins (who you can hear as the rowdy fan between songs) woke me up, having triumphantly found and bought the last of the night’s gyros from a street vendor. We washed them down with one last beer.
After some good chatting the next morning, we grabbed a coffee and hit the road back to Baltimore.
It was a fun trip – meaningful in many ways. I hope you enjoy the show!