So, it was the January 2014 third-Monday “Monday Markets” on Bartholomew Avenue in Hartford, Connecticut. The Hartford Denim Company organizes this monthly event, which takes place in their space, downstairs from street level at number 30. There are various vendors selling their hipster-friendly wares, as well as a musical act or two. One or more trendy food trucks also set up outside the space.
The Dirt Salon at 50 Bartholomew is also open on these evenings, with retail tenant Blaze and Bloom enjoying some good foot traffic through their collection of antiques, odd collectibles, and interesting recycled and up-cycled furniture. Being as my wife, Cynthia, is also the owner of the Dirt Salon, I have had the pleasure of performing my “Dad’s Noisy Basement Live!” solo bit during a couple of these evening events. Not to mention that my “real” band, The Aquatudes, has also played at a third-Monday evening.
This particular Monday found me with son Max (serving as roadie), unloading my music rig and setting up on the stage in the main hall of the Dirt Salon. After getting all the pieces of my PA in place and wired, I fired up the mixer and power amp and proceeded to sound-check my backup tracks – loaded on my iPad Mini. I also set up my old mini-DV video camera across the way to capture the sets. After tuning up my Fender Jaguar and checking the microphone, I launched into the first tune of the night, my original song, “C’Mon Back to Me.”
The evening went well and I got three (well, two really) usable videos that I posted on youtube.
“Up in the Air” (my original song) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-jMSfhlqOA
“Green Tambourine” (by the Lemon Pipers) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vs4WOuzEF4Y
The backing tracks worked fine and I think I’m getting the hang of performing with them. The trick is to get the levels right – my live vocal and guitar have to mesh well with the recorded bits to achieve the desired illusion.
A bunch of people came through The Dirt Salon while I was playing. Some stopped to listen a bit (all I could really ask for) and then went about their business. One guy asked me if I could perform at an event for his organization. Nothing actually came of that, but it was encouraging to be asked at all! So, for the next time, hopefully in May, I’ll work to refine the act and see how it goes in the nicer weather.