Well, it was a packed house on Saturday night at the famed Iridium, in NYC, the place Les Paul called home on Monday nights for a long, long time! I tried to prepare myself for the performances which for me meant I was playing with The Les Paul Trio, as well as following that with a show with Rusty Paul (Les’ son) and Jimmy Vivino, Johnny A. and Gene Cornish of The Rascals! Needless to say, this was a total guitar onslaught, but as a testament to the true professionalism of all who played, we really did give each other the kind of space we needed.
It was something the likes of which I really hadn’t done for quite a while since I played at all those huge Danny Gatton Tribute concerts, some of which had as many as twelve guitarists onstage at the same time! This time, it was often 5 players, and everyone good, and everyone loud! Still I was great because we all have our own distinct styles, and all being true pros, we knew how to stay out of each other’s way!
There were all kinds of fun things going on all the time, and Johnny A. and I occupied one side of the stage, while Jimmy Vivino and Gene Cornish occupied the other. Johnny and I would come up with nice little harmony parts together, and there were all kinds of “in jokes” going on with me and Jimmy Vivino featuring many hysterical licks!
When it was time for my spotlight and for me to do some songs, I felt that there had been far too many wailing blues tunes following one after another, so I tried to change things up a bit, such as playing and singing “Treat Her Right”, and doing a quieter version of “Ain’t No Sunshine.” This also helped shift the mood, because it was a lot slower than what everyone had been playing to that point, plus, for a change, it was a song in a minor key!
For anyone who came, and there were certainly a lot of guitar fanatics in the house, it was a real pleasure, and a great lesson in how so many gifted musicians could get together and without rehearsal, really make it work! A great lesson in taste and restraint, as well as a healthy dose of when it was right to really let go! I imagine The Iridium will be posting parts of this show on their YouTube channel soon, so you should stay tuned. It was an amazing night for all!