Our first showcase at Morro Bay Wine Seller was a big success! Full lineup of top-notch musicians, room packed with appreciative listeners, and to quote Hoyt Axton, "some mighty fine wine." Joy to the world, indeed.
Susan Ritchie kicked off the night, although the sun was so bright she had to wear shades during her set. Percussionist Andrew Ricard sat in on the cajon drum. Susan played some upbeat bluesy originals, perhaps inspired by attending the Tedeschi Trucks Band concert over the weekend. Be sure to get her latest CD, "52".
Showcase host Steve Key was accompanied by Debra Windsong on the blues harp, opening with the seasonal original, "Get Ready for the Fall" and then Woody Guthrie's ode to the farm workers, "Pastures of Plenty", in honor of the Labor Day holiday. Their last two songs were actually two interpretations of one song, "I've Done Some Foolish Things," by local writer Craig Louis Dingman.
Appropriately, Craig himself followed. Debra stuck around, adding harp to the Kris Kristofferson songs Craig will be performing Sept. 9 at D'Anbino Cellars in Paso Robles. The Code Blues frontman showed off his new guitar, and kept the room charmed with his humorous banter and jazzy originals. "Baby Please Say No" is a hit waiting to happen.
Jim Conroy started off in a mellow mood, but mentioned that his friend Nancy Craig (who was there) told him he should play happy songs. Jim obliged, leading the audience in a sing-along, "Gotta Keep on Going". Jim has confirmed he will be our featured artist at MBWS on Monday Oct. 31, but he will not wear a costume.
All the way from Spain, the trio called Carbayo commanded the stage, with writer-vocalist-guitarist Alex Carbayo at the center. Percussion and lead guitar on a 12-string filled out their sound. High-energy ballads, driving guitar rhythms, catchy tunes. Carbayo featured songs from their nine-song album, "The Longlook Ride".
Closing out the show as our featured act, hVA added some punch to their vocal harmonies with Roy Donkin on fretless electric bass guitar. Stephanie Croff and Kyle Reilly continue to mesmerize with their duets. Hope they keep coming back, despite their recent move to San Francisco. The show ran overtime, finishing up around 9:30, with the room still full of happy listeners. Let's do this again -- how about next Monday?