Sunday, May 6, 2007

Life in Bay City

I have been in Bay City for a week or so. The place I found is an big old house near downtown with an interesting cast of characters. I've been practicing my guitar at the storage unit. Hence, the studio picture. I've located a place that has a Wednesday Night Open Mic Night.

That same place hosted a very cool gig last Thursday. It seems that a local singer/songwriter named Scott Baker met and befriended Adam Levy, who plays guitar for Norah Jones. Norah was playing the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor friday. Adam made the trek to Bay City to play a night with Scott on Thursday. The Arlington on Linn St., in Bay City is either a 104 or 140 year old building. For $3 cover! I saw these guys playing for three hours or more! Scott played some of his stuff; Adam played some of his; then they played together.

Scott Baker is a talented local singer. He tells the story of helping Adam hold a box of CDs while he signed autographs after a concert. They became good friends. Scott has a few CDs out; and a new one coming out this month. I really liked Scott's easy manner and strong voice. He reminds me a bit of Greg Brown; another Michigan singer/songwriter. I would highly recommend the new CD. I liked the songs Your Turn and Color My Life.

Adam Levy is a hugely talented guitarist. He is a jazzy, bluesy, funky player fond of filling textures and color with tight licks. He played for Tracy Chapman before Norah Jones. The bluesy funk behind "Give Me One Reason" is Adam. He is also a guitar player's guitar player; check the interviews on his site of other guitarists. Adam was playing a Randy Newman song 'Marie' to warm up. Someone shouted "Play that one!" Adam says alright and jumped right in.

I loved his song with the tag line "She's a little like Sunday Morning on Saturday Night." Also, "Unsay Goodbye" "Last Payphone Call" and "Spanish Moss and Angel Wings." Adam has a quirky song talent. I loved his view of the world. Imagine if Lyle Lovett and Chris Isaac had a child, but sent it to New York to be raised by Bill Frisell and Willie Nelson. I think my favorite song of Adam's was "Washing Day." He channelled Bill Frisell during the song.

When Scott joined Adam for the third set, they played Norah's "Nightingale." What a great night!! Two guys who were multitalented and just plain at ease with their music. They looked like they were having fun and were as natural as if they were just breathing. I was inspired.

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