variety show house concert

I played at a cool little event in Venice Beach last night — a house concert with a bunch of musicians and actors doing 10-15 minutes sets. It’s the same format as an open mic except that the organizer recruits most of the players.

Brad Kay (piano) and Tom Marion (mandolin) are both stellar old time jazz players.

Brad Kay and Tom Marion

The highlight of the night was Frank Fairfield’s red hot set on fiddle and jug.

Brad Kay and Frank Fairfield

The lowlight was going on right after Frank. I got a little nerved up and blanked on parts of an easy song. People were mainly still enthusiastic about the music, but not me.

It turned into a rocking and superloose party and I had to tear myself away after midnight. Just as I was leaving I noticed that the host had an entire room devoted to his record collection.

(High res here)

6 replies on “variety show house concert”

I love the idea of the concert. The “recruited” aspect of the function gives it the right kind of curation, the “hey, it’d be cool to hear you play”, not the juried, monied,storied, agonized form of the craft of “curation”.
Better than open mic by a mile, I think-and yet almost as open.

I just got an evite to the local guitar circle week after next, after I went a couple of months ago.
I don’t add anything to the mix, but i think the fellow who runs it likes having a can-jo and a nose flute in the circle. But I must memorize a new song to play, so that I can take my turns!

hey, that’s Brad’s house! Super cool, I’ve been there lots of times, Brad’s an old friend of mine! Yes his record collection is fantastic. He’s got a nice player piano and some great rolls as well.

I found this blog via another one devoted to research of early blues and jazz songs (“I Went Down to St. James Infirmary”) and I nearly fell off my chair when I saw the photo and it was BRAD and TOM and FRANK FAIRFIELD. Good lord, it IS a small world after all!

Say, do you need any help with your blog? I am mainly interested in popular, salon, ragtime, blues, and jazz piano players from circa 1905-1930, with special emphasis on styles and major artists from 1915-1925. I am hoping to start a blog devoted to this topic, and I am already working on a giant rollography website (not just piano rolls, but also organ rolls, orchestrion rolls, pinned cylinders, discs, etc. for automatic musical instruments of all types). When not working on this mammoth undertaking I’m generally performing somewhere with someone. And yeah, that includes Brad, Tom, and Jerron Paxton.

If you have a particular tune you’re researching, or a pianist or composer (or both) I’m happy to help in any way I can. Just send me an e-mail at the address I’m giving here. You can also find me on Youtube, Purevolume, and NoisyPlanet:

Hey Andrew, it’s cool to meet you. Sounds like it was bound to happen. That’s Suzy Williams in the bolero hat, by the way.

There’s a lot of tasty stuff on your YouTube account. Listening to Farm House Blues now.

Your rollography project is a *great* idea. Is it reference, or sound also? Are you doing all the data or is it more like a wiki?

About help with the blog, it’d be cool for this to be linked into digital manifestations of other old time players. People like Brad and Tom tend to have no digital presence at all. Frank’s younger, so he has a decent Myspace page. But it would be cool to have something along the lines of a Twitter list of old time players.

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