Last night was an absolute blast. I had asked Eric Gorfain at the Borders show if they needed any help with any of the upcoming Sam Phillips/Marc Cohen shows and Eric says, well, we don't have anyone set to handle the merchandise table. And so... Sam was opening for Marc Cohen at the Coach House here in The OC. This is an old stomping ground of mine. I've been to dozens of shows there. This was going to be fun. We get there a couple of hours early and are lead upstairs to Sam's room. It has been a few years since Jessie, my daughter, has been to one of Sam's shows, so she was thrilled to get to talk to Sam again. The 5 of us (Maria my wife, Jess, Sam, Eric and I) spent some time talking... about lots of stuff. The Coach House gets plenty of credit for actually hanging paintings in the room and having a motif. And Garrett, Sam and Eric could not say enough nice things about you. We then headed downstairs to set up the table while Sam and Eric put their work clothes on. We chatted with several fans and soon to be fans before the show. Those of you, who know me, know how much I love to sell a favorite performer of mine. I was in heaven.
Finally, at 8pm it was show time. I NEVER watch Sam from the back of the room, so this was a different experience for me. But, like I told Sam later, it allowed me to sing along with the songs without bothering anyone. This not being her crowd, I thought Sam made a wise choice and opened with "Sister Rosetta". The odds are, people are a bit familiar with it. I made sure to bring up that song to new fans before the show; "Have you heard Raising Sand"? She did several songs from the new CD before pulling out the tape player for her solo rendition of "Animals on Wheels". I think some of the crowd was scratching their heads at that one, but others got the humor in the piece. She then covered a Steven Merritt song (Sorry, I should have asked for a set list) and finished up with "One Day Late" (a bunch of people clapped along to that one) and "Reflecting Light". The mix was not too good in the back, so it is hard to comment on the quality of the show, but Sam's voice was as beautiful as always. Interestingly, Eric's electric guitar was not very loud, but that may have just been my location. Sam did seem a bit timid in between songs this time around. Maybe it was because it wasn't her audience. She did joke around after awhile, asking the audience if she should do 1 or 2 more songs. Ralph, yelled "three". Sam loved that.
After the show, several old and new fans came over and got a chance to meet Sam. She was her usual charming self. And when the crowd went back to their seats, the five of us continued talking. Jess talked to Sam about using her music in her animation pieces (my little girl knows how to network!) and Maria questioned Sam on the meaning of the t-shirts. I chatted with Eric about the 39 things a band shouldn't do when booking a show.
It was so much fun talking music, hanging with these two wonderful people and... I get to do it all over again tonight in Agoura.
Garrent, Sam wants us all to get together. You need to come out to the coast (west coast) for one of the shows.
Ralph and Jeni, I'm expecting a review on the Marc Cohen show. And Jeni, it was a pleasure meeting you.
Rich, hope to see you at the show tonight.