Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Cosmos Cafe

This place is actually a different cafe than I thought, but it is only a half mile away from that one.

Cliff showed up with wife, Linda, and another friend of ours, Steve showed as well. He plays guitar upside down and backwards--left handed but strung the standard way a right hand player would have it. That means that when he plays, the high strings are up at the top and low strings on the bottom, and half the time he strums up when a right hander would strum down. He sounds good. The guy comes from more blue grass experience than anything. Like all else, that spills into country, folkish stuff, and maybe a little blues.

The crowd at Cosmos is a little more discerning than at Valley Music, meaning you can definitely tell the polite applause from "Wow, we really dug it!" applause. The level of play is pretty good for the most part. There were some excellent performers. One guy did an original song that would be big time if it got the right exposure or the right group. His performance was plenty good, but getting something out there on the market involves a lot of factors. He's a pro, and I think he just plays local gigs mostly. He gets by. Probably a year or two older than me.

They do their line up by drawing. They put the names of those who sign up in a fish bowl, draw your name, and you decide which number you want to be. We were drawn second, and my choice was to be 4th 7th or 12th. Has to do with an unexplainable theory involving numbers and the fact that I wanted time to finish my sandwich and wash away the evidence with a cold Coke. Cliff opted for 4th.

It is another 2 song or 10 minutes, whichever comes first. We probably took a good ten minutes with two songs. Maybe a minute or two to spare. We got the other kind of applause, not the polite applause. They really did respond well. They even clapped maybe 3 times in the middle of songs when I did little instrumental interludes. To say I was pleased about that would be an understatement.

That good looking lady with the little straw hat was smiling nd clapping, and that helped fuel my spirits and playing. Dumb me, I didn't approach her in any way. But, I am reluctant to do that kind of thing anyway. She was helpful at that moment, and may have gone back to a life of pulling feathers off of baby chicks for all I know.

So, I rate Cosmos as a good place. They make a very good sandwich, and the espresso is great. It is kind of a chic establishment, and it is on LaMesa's strip of shops which is one of those sections where you can walk from place to place on a cool sidewalk, with some establishments providing seating outside by the sidewalk, and auto traffic is slowed to a crawl so crossing the street is not a problem. Nice landscaping, etc. Cool location.

And, at first I thought the sound would suck, but it was really good by the time we played. We did Polly Von, an old old song which is in the public domain because it was written by no one, I guess, hundreds or thousands of years ago. I'm half kidding so don't pin me down on this, JT. OK, we did that one in D minor, always good.

Then we did the Cliff original, Slow Way Down in G. That gave me a chance to break in my new Lee Oskar C--playing cross harp. That tune's got a good upbeat rhythm and is great for harp solos. The words are cool too. Cliff has a presence and a way of delivering a tune that just works.

OK. Tues at Cosmos Cafe is a thumbs up.

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Ballistic Mountain, CA, United States
Like spring on a summer's day


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