Alive In Charlotte

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One door closes, one door opens. I didn’t think I would recover in time to teach at Dub Deliverance this year, so I agreed to play the Third Rock Events Anniversary Party on a rooftop in downtown Charlotte. I have a lot to write about Charlotte, the New South, a variety of social topics, and the almost exactly two thousand miles I put on a 2013 Charger Pentastar over the past five days, and I’ll get around to it shortly.

The original plan was for my brother, who just returned from a European tour that can only be described as “triumphant”, to play a selection of Coltrane tunes over the course of three short sets and for me to play some untalented but serviceable rhythm guitar behind him. As the evening wore on, however, we came up with a few things including a cover of “The Humpty Dance”. Most importantly, we wound up sharing the stage with Who Rescued Who? These guys are more than a superb and well-rehearsed party trio; they’re writing some interesting original music and reinterpreting a lot of great stuff.

Not even heavy rain and fog could ruin the party, although there’s something daunting about leaving a Heritage Eagle jazz hollowbody on a stand just a foot from the rain pouring off the edges of the massive steel tent covering the stage and the crowd. As midnight arrived, the bare bulbs strung above our heads glowed and the gorgeous young ladies in their not-quite-decent dresses danced and the vodka ran out, but not before I had mine. By two AM the Charger was packed and I was headed to the Aloft downtown.

I don’t get a lot of rockstar moments in my life but this was one of them. My Tascam recorder didn’t quite survive the rain and the drunk girls but we did get this from the opening set. It’s “Lonnie’s Lament”, played with a nod to Kenny Garrett and Pat Metheny’s superlative version:

For those of you who care about guitars and gear, I was playing my Heritage Eagle, re-necked by Aaron Cowles of Vicksburg, MI, and my Ocean Doublecut, built by my friend and partner in MelodyBurner, Chris O’Dee, through a Roland VGA-5 that was completely dimed. Yeah, yeah, solid state. With a 1300-mile roundtrip and wet weather, I didn’t want to take chances. Mark Baruth is a Yamaha Artist and plays the YTS-82Z tenor saxophone. He says it’s pretty good.

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