Ed Volker
Thursday, January 10th, 2002
@ Ray's Downtown Blues
West Palm Beach, Florida
All Photos © 2002 Ting and Randy Vogel

 Nice ticket!
 Ed Takes the Stage

So we vegged out for awhile in the hotel, recharging our psychic batteries, then got packed up for tonight's entertainment, a rare solo appearance by Ed Volker. We drove on downtown to Clematis Street and were pleased to see that tonight's venue, Ray's Downtown Blues, was across the street from Respectable Street, site of the following nights' Radiators shows. 

We were a little early, as Randy had confused the 'doors open at 9 pm' with the show start time, so we took a stroll down Clematis, taking in the sights. On our return back up the street, we ran into several groups of Monkeys, all eager for the Ball and tonight's solo gig.

Arriving back Ray's, we first took a table in the front row, next to the tapers, but the incense proved a little overpowering (there were three or four sticks burning at every table), so we soon grabbed our gear and laid it at the foot of the stage, forsaking chairs for a comfortable spot standing in the front row.

Ed arrived soon thereafter, and the gig started a few minutes later. The environment at Ray's was extremely laid back for most of the first set, as the crowd slowly grew to full capacity. The bar had a pretty reasonable selection of drafts -- mostly english -- and even during the thickest parts of the evening, I never had to wait more than a few minutes to get a refill. That's the sort of bartenders I like best: on the ball and working hard!

Ed took a break after roughly 90 minutes, and we took prompt advantage of the opportunity to step outside and get some fresh air. Hanging with the crowd on the street was a gas, and the weather was perfect...high 60's and low humidity...just a little chilly for wearing shorts, but a great temperature for midnight!

Things were a bit more crowded during the second set, but the crowd was amiable and easy-going, and there was never any trouble moving about.

As you can see from the few pictures here, stage lighting was provided by three tiny tracklights, two of which were covered with colored cellophane, and only one of which was aimed at Ed. So it was pretty darn dim as far as light for photography goes. A stand behind the piano held three pillar candles for extra mood-lighting -- a nice touch on someone's part!

Ed played another healthy set, ending things a little after 1 am. Whew! The crowd rapidly thinned out, but Ting and I stuck around socializing with other traveling monkeys -- Terressa Hyde, Dave Bukove, Buckley, Bill Pisaruck, Eric Vandercar, Jen, Shawn Hutchens, Dottie and others that I'm sure I'm forgetting at the moment. Eventually, Ed came out and joined us, standing around on the sidewalk and shooting the breeze for a bit.

The weather had started to cool off by this point, so we decided to hustle back to the Marriot. Bill Pisaruck joined us for a ride, and as we we're all kind of hungry, we ended up at Denny's for some of that good old fashioned home cookin' (NOT!). At least they're open all the time...

Feeling satiated in most every way, we finally got back to the hotel around 3 am...Hey, that's only midnight California time...no wonder we were feeling so alert!

 Hellhound on My Trail
 Three Candles Burnin'
 View from the Door
 View from the Tables
 View from the Soundboard
 View from Stage Right
 That's All Folks!