I'm always looking for venues to play down in H-town when I'm down there visiting relatives for the holidays, and when I saw my friend and mentor (whether she knows it or not!) Susan Alcorn was playing at Avant Garden, I looked into the place. An old two-story on Westheimer, Avant Garden houses a small bar with a huge patio and has a new and improvised music show on Wednesdays, in addition to other cool activities. The kind of place I wish I had in my neighborhood.
So I packed up mom (who just turned 90 a week before), my bro and my rig and headed out. Got there way too early, but Robert, who organizes the event was there. There had been some overbooking, with another band added to the bill, but ok by me because I would be the second set as planned. It was a bit cold inside, so mom stayed out in the car until I played. Seth Paynter was the first act. Looping sounds from a contact mike (scratching, breathing), he also played EWI (electronic wind instrument) and did a nice improv on sax. His pedal board resembled a guitarist rig, with a couple of Moog boxes I could have had real fun with. As I entered the bar at the beginning of his set I was struck by the silence. The small bar was full of patrons but you could hear a pin drop, everyone was focused on what was happening on stage. I knew then this would be a special night. Seth played for half an hour. Then I did my thing. Mom and bro got a table up front and I gave him a crash course on operating my camera, pix below. Also below, some edits from the performance. The recording got a bit saturated on the loud bits so I had edit those out, unfortunately. Nothing new here, but I decided to pull out the motif Hymn, which is a good show ender when there is a quiet attentive audience like this. Everything worked well, with a minimum of mistakes, and I think the setting had a lot to do with that. The audience was very kind and appreciative after the set.
Thanks to Robert Pearson, Susan Alcorn, Mariana, Mom and Duane.