Hi everyone… here’s the Special Edition GotFolk.com E-Letter for June 02, 2011.
Welcome to the first special edition of the GotFolk.com E-letter where we celebrate the making of history on June 4th in our folk and acoustic community. Looking back, these kind of moments are rare. For example, wouldn’t you have liked to have been there in 1985 when Michael Stock started an acoustic open mic at Our Place Health Food Store on Miami Beach and unknowingly embarked on the path to becoming the godfather of all folk and acoustic music in south east Florida. Or how about that day in 1996 when Alexis Sanfield stood in front of 775 NE 125 Street in North Miami and told the landlord – Okay, I’ll take it! – and the Luna Star Cafe was born. Well, one of these magical moments is quickly approaching.
This Saturday, June 4th, Your Big Picture Cafe (4900 S. University Dr, Davie, Florida 33328, 954-252-5644, www.yourbigpicturecafe.com) proudly opens its new performing/listening room. An all day celebration will be held starting at 10:00 a.m. and running until midnight, with a six hour long open mic starting at 6:00 that evening. All seminars, demos and classes are free and the lineup of events includes (call 954-252-5644 for more info):
10:00am to 10:45am
Room 1 – Micro-current Facial Rejuvenation Demos with Tiffany Martin-Muzzillo
Room 2 – Protect Yourself From Toxins with Kendrick Montgomery
Room 3 – Yoga with Jessica Cobb
11:00am to 11:45am
Room 2 – Intuitive Living with Kathy Knowles
Room 3 – Laughter Yoga with Audrey Giron
12:00pm to 12:45pm
Room 1 – Pranic Healing Demos with Andrea Figueroa
Room 2 – Group Acupuncture Experience with Tiffany Martin-Muzzillo
Room 3 – Excerpt from Emotional Spa Day with Rebecca McCaghren and Donna Marx
1:00pm to 1:45pm
Room 1 – Pranic Healing Demos with Andrea Figueroa
Room 2 – Six Steps to Body Transformation with Terrence Thomas
Room 3 – Stepping into Greatness with Charlene Young, YBPC’s Inspired Entrepreneur
2:00pm to 2:45pm
Room 3 – Special guest Serena Dyer (daughter of author and lecturer Wayne Dyer) commemorates YBPC’s new performing/listening room.
3:00pm to 3:45pm
Room 1 – Massage Demos with Marty Moore
Room 2 – Lily and Beyond Core Light Healing Circle with Mercy Martinez
Room 3 – Directing your Destiny with Jennifer Grace Safina
4:00pm to 4:45pm
Room 1 – Micro-current Facial Rejuvenation Demos with Tiffany Martin-Muzzillo
Room 2 – Life Shift: Five Ways to Activate Your Potential with Wendi Blum
Room 3 – Energy, Strength and Vitality with Marty Moore
6:00pm to Midnight
Room 3 – Adult Acoustic Open Mic (ages 19 and over) with Len and Lance Perry in the new performing/listening room! YBPC hosts an eclectic group of talented musicians performing a wide array of musical genres, with 16 or more amazing performers every Saturday evening! It’s the perfect way to end a perfect day! Musicians, please arrive early for best performance placement.
To honor this grand occasion, the GotFolk.com E-Letter presents this special issue with an abbreviated calendar and three CD reviews. These special reviews represent the past, present and future of folk and acoustic music here in south east Florida, with Danny Aaronson from the past, Joe Virga in the present, and Chris Kay for the future.
We will return to our regular e-letter format next week. In the meantime, check in at www.gotfolk.com for ongoing updates on folk and acoustic happenings throughout the sunshine state. You can also go to www.trafn.com/e-letter any time to view the most recent copy of this e-letter.
So come enjoy folk and acoustic music history this Saturday, June 10 from 10 a.m. until midnight at Your Big Picture Cafe (4900 S. University Dr, Davie, Florida 33328, 954-252-5644, www.yourbigpicturecafe.com).
See you there!
* * * * CD REVIEW 1 – THE PAST * * * *
Danny Aaronson’s IN MEMORIUM is the CD that never was because Danny no longer is. He passed away on June 20, 2008. In doing so, he became an unforgettable part of our great south east Florida folk and acoustic music memory. A once ever present part of the Luna Star Café (North Miami) and the Folk Club of South Florida, he gave us great music, great times and great hope. And since he has left us, I have listened to his imaginary CD many times in my head.
It opens with the beautiful HEY ALEXIS, WHERE THE HELL’S MY COFFEE, a spiffy, upbeat reminder of Danny’s insatiable ever-presence at Luna Star where his famous cowboy hat and guitar strap still hang on the wall today. This is followed by his humorous I’M GAY, YOU’RE OKAY, the historic ballad he pioneered which made it okay for others like myself to come out in today’s folk and acoustic scene. It continues with IF YOU THINK YOU’RE HOT THEN KISS THE NOON TIME SIDEWALK, a reminder of his reality-checking whit that never missed a beat. And it usually ends with YEAH, THAT’S MY CHAIR, SEE THE PLAQUE, which tells of the lovely metal memorial on the back of a Luna Star bar stool that states: In Memory of Danny Aaronson – He Will Always Have A Chair At The Luna Star Cafe.
So gone but not forgotten, Danny Aaronson’s IN MEMROIUM is a constant reminder of life’s short but sweet musical gifts. Listen to it again, soon and often. I do.
* * * * CD REVIEW 2 – THE PRESENT * * * *
Contrary to popular belief, the Declaration of Independence does not guarantee happiness, merely the pursuit of happiness. Our founding fathers knew that happiness was too ephemeral to guarantee, so they took aim at the chance to be happy rather than happiness itself. Thomas Jefferson understood this, and so does Joe Virga. On his CD titled STARDUST LAND, Joe exams that pursuit from every imaginable vantage point: from suburbia to junky town; from tender love to tendered money.
Happiness sometimes does come true, as in the CD’s title track STARDUST LAND where Joe lays out the classic trip from parenthood to the empty nest and after. His tune CABBAGE KEY inspires hope of tranquility for the middle-aged (not hard to imagine as Jimmy Buffett supposedly wrote Cheeseburger In Paradise there). And PRAYER FOR THE LIVING implores Reinhold Niebuhr’s Serenity Prayer to give thanks for one more day.
Yet happiness pursued is not always happiness achieved. In FOR THE FAMILY’S GOOD women wear a ton of makeup to hide their wounds, and an addicts recovery to FREE AND CLEAN can be anywhere but in my neighborhood. Meanwhile, Peter Frampton may come alive in WARRIORS AND MUSIC, but in the end we’re only paying the mortgage. And TENDER LOVING LIES are always present in those dollar bills you hold in your hand.
As Greg Anderson famously said, focus on the journey, not the destination, for it is only the trip, the pursuit that is guaranteed. Whether happiness comes your way is anyone’s guess. But make that trip with Joe Virga’s STARDUST LAND and you’re halfway home.
On June 10, 2011 at 8:00 pm, Joe Virga will be the first solo artist to perform in the new performing/listening room at Your Big Picture Cafe (4900 S. University Dr, Davie).
* * * * CD REVIEW 3 – THE FUTURE * * * *
Then there’s that story about the famous Miami club owner who still runs one of Florida’s most venerated music venues. Let’s call him Dan. Now back in the 1960’s, Dan was a club promoter in England, and part of his job description was to locate unknown, inexpensive opening acts for the ten and sixteen piece headline bands he was booking. So, one day he phoned the lead singer of an unknown, upstart quartet and arranged to have them open for a then popular group. Later that day, while reviewing his gig notes, someone asked Dan the name of this new opening act, and he offhandedly replied: Oh, the Rolling Stones.
Or, of course, there’s the story of the guy who after his most recent discharge from a mental hospital in 1980, went home and recorded a few tracks on a tape cassette in his bedroom. Then, then next day he walked through the doors of Austin Texas’s Sound Exchange Record Store, handed owner Mark Alman a copy of his hand-decorated creation titled Songs of Pain, and proclaimed: Hi, how are you, I’m Daniel Johnston and I’m not crazy.
And then there was last night (05/28/11) at Your Big Picture Cafe’s open mic when 19 year old Chris Kay walked over, handed me a copy of his CD titled BEDROOM DEMO, said – Hey, I’d like you to listen to this when you have the time – then turned and walked away. So? What’s the big deal? It’s just that you never know when a piece of music history has just passed you by, and I have a strong feeling that that’s what happened last night.
Now Chris’ BEDROOM DEMO is just that, including its Daniel Johnston styled hand drawing on the cover of a paper-bag-over-the-head, dazed-eyes-through-the-holes, trench-coat-wearing individual who is holding a score card of the CD’s five track titles. Keep in mind that I have seen Chris perform his original songs live many times at Chrystal Hartigan’s premier Songwriter’s Showcase open mic at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (Fort Lauderdale), Your Big Picture Cafe’s fantabulous open mic (Davie), and the now lapsed 11th Street Annex Cafe’s experimental open mic (Fort Lauderdale). He is, in indisputable terms, the source of sing-songwriter energy personified.
In trying to determine what made the likes of Kurt Cobain (1967-1994; Nirvana, 1987-1994) so great, and what continues to drive such giants as Jackson Browne, only one word comes to mind: sincerity. It was/is their uncanny ability to remove the mask, look into their own heart and then write down what is in ours that will eternally endear them to us. Chris Kay possesses and shares that same magic in both his recordings and live performances.
With sincerity in mind, BEDROOM DEMO begins with the eye opening START AGAIN where I close my eyes, you’ll be alright, I need you right here by my side, when will I see you again, so I’ll never have to start again (…wow, is this kid 19 or 49?). This is followed by the raucous, saxophone detailed ALL I WANTED where it’s 11:07 and I’m waiting for the train again, for another day of listening to some teacher (…been there, done that). BEDROOM DEMOS then peaks midway with SINK OR SWIM where you don’t know anything about the road you’re in, you’re stupid, reckless, and some might say insane, but you carried on anyways (…yes I did, and so did many others).
On the backside, the CD’s apex continues with track four, the electrified MOVING ON where at least we try to find something we can stand for (…think Jimmi Hendrix meets CSNY). It then finales with track five, the acoustically dream-laden BROKEN RECORD where I guess it’s ordinary, but it’s kinda scary, how far I’d go to hear your voice (…maybe this track should have been called Broken Heart – would someone please pass me a tissue).
So is Chris Kay one of the chosen? Will he continue to write and sing the words we are too scared to say on our own? Will he climb into music’s history books, and if he does, will he survive the music world’s industrial gauntlet that dares you to remain a person as it remolds you into a product? It’s hard to say, as my crystal ball is still in the repair shop. But last night at Your Big Picture Cafe, I couldn’t help but feel that a piece of music history had just walked past me.
You can hear Chris Kay live at Chrystal Hartigan’s, Your Big Picture Cafe and other great acoustic venues in south east Florida. When you do, walk up to him, say – Hi, how are you! – and see if he hands you a hand inscribed CD. Then you tell me what your crystal ball says.
* * * * SPECIAL EDITION ABBREVIATED CALENDAR * * * *
Jun 02, Thu, 7:00 pm, The Reina Collins Duo (www.reinagcollins.com) at the Southshores Tavern in Lake Worth (www.southshorestavern.com).
Jun 03, Fri, 7:30 pm, Broward Folk Club’s open mic with featured performer Mike Carignan (www.mikecarignan.com) at Biddy Earlys, 3419 N Andrews Ave, Oakland Park, 33309, 954-567-1990. This event recurs the 1st Friday of each month.
Jun 03, Fri, 8:00 pm, Teen Acoustic Open Mic (age 18 and under) with Lance Perry at Your Big Picture Cafe (www.yourbigpicturecafe.com, 4900 S. Univ. Dr, Davie, 954-252-5644).
June 03, Fri, 8:00 pm, Jerry Brown (www.myspace.com/jerrybbrown), Gary Loucas, and legendary guitarist Ike Woods at Luna Star Cafe (www.lunastarcafe.com), 775 NE 125 St, North Miami, 305-799-7123.
Jun 04, Sat, 10:00 am, Your Big Picture Cafe’s Performing/Listening Room Grand Opening. The festivities go on to midnight and include a presentation by Serena Dyer (Wayne Dyer’s daughter) and the cafe’s fantabulous open mic at 6pm hosted by Len and Lance Perry (www.yourbigpicturecafe.com, 4900 S. Univ. Dr, Davie, 954-252-5644).
Jun 04, Sat, 1:00 pm, the Palm Beach Folk Club Song Circle at the Palm Springs Library, 217 Cypress Lane, Palm Springs, 33461. For info and directions contact Gene at 561-670-6726. This event recurs the 1st Saturday of every month.
Jun 04, Sat, 8:00 pm, the Folk Club of South Florida’s Acoustic Underground Concert with featured performers Mike Barra and John Holland, with opening act The Channing Trio at Luna Star Cafe, 775 NE 125 St, North Miami, 305-799-7123. This event recurs the 1st Saturday of each month.
Jun 05, Sun, 12:30 pm, South Florida Bluegrass Association. Greynolds Park, Miami Gardens Dr. and NE 22 Ave, North Miami Beach. 305-358-1800 or 888-950-Blue or firstname.lastname@example.org. This event recurs the 1st Sunday of every month.
Jun 05, Sun, 1:00 pm, The Reina Collins Duo (www.reinagcollins.com) at the Big Easy in downtown Hollywood (www.thebigeasybarandgrille.com).
Jun 10, Fri, 8:00 pm, Nita’s Direct Connection presents Joe Virga (www.myspace.com/joevirga) at Your Big Picture Cafe (www.yourbigpicturecafe.com, 4900 S. Univ. Dr, Davie, 954-252-5644).
Jun 11, Sat, 1:00 pm, the Palm Beach Folk Club Song Circle at the Hagen Ranch Library, 14350 Hagen Ranch Road, Delray Beach?,? 33446 For info and directions contact Gene at 561-670-6726. This event recurs the 2nd Saturday of every month.
Jun 11, Sat, 7:30 pm, Rod MacDonald (www.rodmacdonald.net) and the Humdingers featuring The Great American Songbook – Singer Concert Series, Tamarac. For time, reservations and directions go to www.singerfolkmusic.com
Jun 12, Sun, 5:00 pm, the Folk Club of South Florida’s Song Swap and Potluck at 6666 SW 115 Court, #203, Miami. For more info, call Nellie at 305-279-8100.
Jun 13, Mon, 7:30 pm, Chrystal Hartigan Presents the Songwriter’s Showcase in the Abdo New River Room of the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, 954-462-0222. Open-mic followed by featured performers from Forward Motion Records (www.forwardmotionrecords.com): Fernando Perdomo, Vic Kingsley and Danny Luis. This event recurs the 2nd Monday of every month.
Jun 16, Thu, 6:00 pm, Laura Sue, the Silver Nightingale (www.SilverNightingale.com) plays at Fort Luaderdale’s Las Olas Art Walk (www.artwalklasolas.com). Check websites for exact location.
Jun 17, Fri, 7:30 pm, Aaron Stang (www.alfred.com/img/authors/stang.html), Gary Gonzalez, Mitch Kopp (www.myspace.com/mitchkoppandthemagicpopulation), Mike Carignan (www.mikecarignan.com) and Dr. Bob (www.youtube.com/profile?user=trafn) at the River of Grass Cafe, 11850 W State Road 84, Suite 1, Davie, 33325 (www.riverofgrass.org)…..and remember, for more folk and acoustic happenings, go to www.gotfolk.com for regular updates, and to view the most recent edition of this e-letter at any time, go to www.trafn.com/e-letter.
Until then – keep playing, writing and singing!