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.