dan may band at godfrey daniels’, bethlehem PA

so, after taking over a week off to tend to what turned out to be a whirlwind week of bring our new little man into the world, tonights’ dan may show at godfrey daniels’ would be my first official night back in the saddle.

godfrey daniels‘, in bethlehem pa, has been one of my favorite rooms for many, many years…going back to my singer-songwriter days when i took my one year old daughter there and she got up and sang the alphabet song in front of a roomful of strangers in her public vocal debut. i saw john gorka there several times early on, and i used to love going to the open mikes there…strangely, the quality of talent at the godfreys’ open mike was always a notch above what you’d encounter at places like grape street. one night, there was this kid there named dave phillips who did two songs that just slayed me…one of them had a chorus with a tag line of “when the angels trade their wings for chevrolets”…that was easily almost twenty years ago, and i’ve never forgotten that dude.

that’s the weight that godfreys’ carries for me. a lot of history.

so i was tickled when dan may landed this gig. it was also a bittersweet moment when i put it on the calendar and realized it was one year to the day after the amazing show i did there with robert hazard and karen savoca last year.

we agreed to do the show as a co-bill with a solo acoustic act, a fellow named randall williams that i’d never met before. and, typically, with a co-bill, one act plays first and the other plays afterward. randall, though, had another idea…he wanted to split the night into sets of two or three songs apiece…which, frankly, i’d never done before. dan wasn’t nuts about it, either, because it doesn’t really allow for either act to establish a rhythm…and i think the audience probably finds it unsettling, too, but i can only speak for myself.

the compromise we arrived at was that we’d split the night in two – the first half we’d do in the traditional split, and then the second half we’d alternate…first four songs each, then three, then two, then one.

well, ok. compromise, it is.

i shouldn’t complain – the show went quite well, and we had a full house of folks who’d come out to see us – bob and ellen from scranton, lois and greg from belvidere, NJ (our house concert hosts), pat weghorn made the trip out for this show, plus the following nights’ show in king of prussia…plus quite a few other folks whose faces i recognize but whose names escape me. the band sounded great for having been somewhat out of practice during my downtime (although, in fairness, it was something of a stripped down version of “the band” – alan and heather sat this one out).

tommy geddes (who is quickly becoming my after-gig breakfast foil) accompanied randall, pat and i to the bar across the street once we’d loaded out and we grabbed a bite to eat before everyone parted ways.

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