How the blues cheered me

I've returned from a two day, two night conference for the state library federation held in Indianapolis. Good conference and I took Patrick along to work on "Falling Slowly" during my spare free time.

While there I afforded myself a rare treat. Downtown Indy has a blues bar called the "Slippery Noodle." I'm not sure what the story behind the name is. Perhaps because it is in a building that formerly hosted a bordello? Any rate, we went expecting a cover and a band performing a regular gig. What we found was Jam Night. I had never experienced anything like it. Musicians, some arranged in groups, some not, just put their name on a list and then took the stage when called. Sometimes the "group" consisted of a singer and a guitarist and someone from the audience got up halfway through a song to plug in his/her bass or sit down at the drum kit. I mean, these people had no idea who each other were and they were jammin' some righteous blues! And, even more heartening is that no one expected perfection. In fact, one duo, a fantastic acoustic blues duo started an original song that was just fantastic. Halfway through the song the singer just quit and said "we're going on to the next song. That one was in the wrong key and we're going to have to figure out what key we wrote it in the first time."


And the audience just cheered all the more.

After all my angst brought to the forefront by the movie, it was so refreshing to experience live music in the presence of imperfection. Sure, I'll never be able to jump on a stage and be told "standard 12 bar in G" and know what the hell to do. But it is enough that I understand that I know that.

That, and my club sodas were free. I guess I was the designated walker. HA!


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