The P&H Cafe is the type of venue I'd play for free. Which works out, because I did. My show this past Saturday (opening for Drew Holcomb) reminded me of what I love about Memphis crowds: they are moody, easily distracted, not easily impressed, but nearly always vocal. They are not easily won over because, as you can imagine, they know better. "You're not Elvis," they seem to collectively say. And, hark!, I'm not.
But that makes a great set even more satisfying--when the table in front that's there to see the headliner makes a point to tell you which songs, which covers, even lyrics they enjoyed. Picky listeners are almost necessarily good listeners, and these folks were.
At some point midway through the set, after I had gotten through some new-yet-well-received material, I felt comfortable enough to settle in with the crowd and share the music with them. There are, in a way, two types of shows: one in which the singer stands on high and sings for a faceless multitude, and one in which the performer gets to know his audience as they're getting to know him. I felt very fortunate Saturday to share my music with some great, sharp music fans, and I was appreciative to be home.
Soon after, Drew got up and sang some notes and played some guitar and even did both at the same time and everyone was really into that, too.
When I come back in June, I'll likely be sharing the bill with Emily Shea, so be sure to check her out. And come out to the show. And, if my head's too big, remind me that I'm not Elvis.
Next stop: Chattanooga,