I played at the Talking Stick, a coffee shop a few blocks from my house, last night. It’s next to the Subway where I get lunch a lot, and across from the Ralph’s I used to go to before I realized that Albertson’s is cheaper. It felt natural and comfortable to play right in the neighborhood.
I got to chat a little with the night barrista, who’s a laid back long haired guy in his 40s or 50s. After the set the owner pulled me aside to have an urgent discussion about fingering open chords on the guitar. While we were talking the next player stopped off to borrow my tuner. She was a cute little college girl with a singer-songwriter act. The style ain’t my thing but she had the personal charm to pull it off and there was a big crowd of people to show for it.
The music I played came out well. I’ve been developing a slightly more electric angle based on 30s country esthetics, with the goal of being more extroverted so that it will fit better with nightlife. This is coming along fine. The laptoppers weren’t grouchy about the distraction and the people who were there to engage were enthusiastic.
I felt _civic_ about the whole thing, like it was about being engaged with my city-state. It makes me feel like a member and a contributor. I get this feeling a lot when I play in the neighborhood.