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
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!