Saturday, February 23, 2008

Reidl & Mayotte awesome!

JoAnn Riedl

It was around 6:30 Saturday night and I was starting to get a little worried that JoAnn and Jeannie weren't going to make it on time (or at all) for their 7:00 gig. I pictured them driving somewhere north or south of Two Rivers in the dark, "Where the hell is this place!?" "I told you to take that exit 10 miles back!"

Jeannie Mayotte

But in they walked with thirty minutes to spare, each carrying nothing but a single guitar case. We all said howdy and I asked "Can I help you unload?" "Nope," replied JoAnn, "we're good." Then I felt another little tick of doubt...what, no amps? We're so used to unloading and setting up amps and gear and doing sound checks that I think I felt a little naked without all that stuff (and I wasn't the one performing!). But as soon as JoAnn hit the first chord and sang the first line we all just went ""

JoAnn and Jeannie, hereafter referred to as "the gals," confessed a bit of nervousness themselves, performing without so much as a microphone to hide behind. While they may have felt a bit exposed everyone else was totally entranced. Those gals got some serious chops. JoAnn would do four or five tunes before giving up her place under our makeshift purple spotlight for Jeannie to do her thing. And so it went throughout the evening with the two taking turns and performing a really powerful mix of songs that alternated between full throttle, full lung wailers and stuff so delicate that it made you lean in and tilt your head to make sure you caught it all. That kind of audience response was also one of the things that we couldn't help but notice: people were quiet and focused when either JoAnn or Jeannie were playing, listening intently and clearly appreciating what they were a part of. It was a small crowd last night, but the applause after each song was loud and immediate.

I don't want to get too much into actual musical or performance reviews in these follow-up posts (though maybe I should...would it be of any interest, I don't know), because up to now my main purpose has really just been to post the images from the event for people to enjoy, and to not say much more than that we had a great time (which we always is honestly always just a heckuva lot of fun when we have live music). But I have to say that this night was one of the best of the best, and that had as much to do with the intimacy and immediacy of the performance as it did with the musical skill and talent the gals possess. JoAnn and Jeannie had a lot of fun too and so we're having them back, sometime in the next several weeks. When we nail down the date(s) we'll let you know on here and on the StumpjackCoffee myspace calendar. You will not want to miss them.

After the gig we all went over to Element Bistro for a drink and smart-talk. Bought a pound of some outstanding cave aged cheese from Kevin (Voysey) in his Abotzo wine and cheese shop there. Jason (Prigge), who is the chef and runs Element, stopped by the table to say hi and said he's going to book JoAnn and Jeannie to play there sometime very soon too, which is awesome. It is extremely cool to have Element and Abotzo in this city, it's a fantastic place (for those who don't know, both businesses share the space). Saturday nights Element has live music as well, and so it's a great opportunity for people to bounce around between Stumpjack and Element (and the Waverly Inn also often has live music on those nights) for some great food, drink and entertainment.

Click here to go to the Flickr images from last night...or on the right side column to see them and any others anytime you feel like it. Remember to click the "view as slideshow" link in the upper right corner above the set when you get to the Flickr page, if you want to view as a slideshow.

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