The doors opened and in we went. If you haven’t been to the remodeled Hotel Café, they did a great job. You enter from the back now and there is a big lobby area where you can sit at cocktail tables and drink (there is a second bar too). You then go through double doors into the old room. They have widened the room by about 1/3 and instead of 2 rows of tables; there are now 5 or so rows. The capacity on the wall says 189, but that probably includes the back lobby where you can’t really hear the music. They did not change the stage one bit and yes, the red curtains are still there.
We sat down at the front table against the wall and awaited the opening act, Kristin Hoffman. Kristin is, according to her bio, classically trained. Part way through the first song you figure out that her instrument was her voice. One of the highlights of her performance was her cover of Joni Mitchell’s, “Case of You”. She hit all of the low and high notes. It was very impressive. There were a couple of really good songs in the set also, but it seemed like her voice lacked the emotion required to pull off this kind of music. Ed thought her piano playing on her right hand was a little heavy handed. Overall I enjoyed her show though. As she sang, you could hear the rain beating down on the side of the building (this time it really was rain) and Kristin commented on how cool it was and that it was like being in a cave. Yes, a cave filled with beautiful female voices.
And then it was Tina’s Turn. You can not start out a discussion of Tina Dico live without talking about her statuesque beauty. All legs, blond hair and the sweetest smile, this native of
And then she starts playing and wow! She played the guitar (a Gibson Hummingbird, which just sounded so good) with confidence and sang with the kind of emotion you get from sitting all day in an unfurnished flat in
It was a great show that lasted about 45 to 50 minutes. Afterward we hung out in the lobby. The doorman said that after he let all of the people waiting in line for Jose Gonzales in, we could buy tickets. He assured us it wouldn’t sell out. So the 4 of us talked for about an hour. I slipped over and chatted with Tina for a few minutes. She really is so sweet. At about the gang left. We said goodbye, never to see each other again. And I waited another 20 minutes. It became apparent that the line outside was continuing to grow and when I peaked my head into the room, it was packed all the way to the back of the bar. They were sold out (at least the fire marshal would probably say so) even as they continued to let people in. At just before 11, with no music started, I decided that as much as I wanted to see Jose, it was time to leave. I could barely see the stage and the sound in the back of The Hotel Café is usually overshadowed by talking. With Jose Gonzales, you really want to be right there: The music is so intimate. Maybe next time. He is playing at the Echo tonight, but I can’t see driving out to