June 6, 2015

I know I've left a few cliff hangers while moving forward down the timeline of my life events, and I really want to get back to the story of pulling a cooking all nighter at the Fairfield Golf and Country Club, but there are so many side stories and interesting anecdotes that can't go unspoken that, for your sake, I can't help myself but tell you about them.  This months story will be another side story, but a side story of a different sort.  The story is very time sensitive, so I have to tell it now. 
On Saturday, June 13th, Adam Faucett and the Tall Grass will be playing in Cleveland at Hey Joe's.  So, I got to thinking about Adam and his coherts and the shenanigans we've pulled together over the years.  I decided, considering the timing, there's a little bit to share. 
The first time I met Adam Faucett, he was opening for a band from Little Rock called The Sound of the Mountain.  At the time, I didn't know anything about him.  He was a complete stranger.  I now must state my dedication to live original music in Cleveland:  
I've missed a total of 4 shows at Hey Joe's in the last 4 and a half years.  That makes for hundreds of bands and countless hours spent listening to live music.  Needless to say, that's a whole bunch of Friday and Saturday nights glued to a table or a bar stool or next to the stage paying attention to music.  The reason I make it a point to show up is this:  Musicians put themselves out there with everything they are.  It takes a whole lot of honesty and guts to show your stuff to the public.  I don't know if any musician is truly comfortable doing it.  There's like this little bit of embarrassment in getting on stage to sing songs that show a different side of yourself that no one sees on a day to day basis- your thoughts, passions, etc.,- songs you've written while hanging out with yourself and your own thoughts.  It means something for a musician to have put together an idea, written it down, and then constructed music around it so that it can be presented to complete strangers.  And, for what?  For drunks at a bar?  What if the strangers don't clap?  What if you completely suck? It's bad enough if no one likes it, but it's even worse if the complete strangers who you're pouring it out to aren't even paying attention.  So, that's why I show up- to simply be there and pay attention. All original musicians really just want people to pay attention. 
So, there I was paying attention at Faucett's first gig in Cleveland when the dude opened his mouth and started to sing Rosco Holcomb's A Capella version of "Moonshiner."  It was one of the coolest things I've ever witnessed at Hey Joe's.  The room was completely floored.... All 15 of us.  I can't really even describe his voice.  It just completely fills the room and gets you right in the guts.  It's very loud and surprising coming out of a guy with a big beard and glasses.  The decision was pretty much sealed then that Faucett would get a nod to play at Otherfest the same year.  Since then, Faucett has only missed one Otherfest, and that was only due to a booking mix up between him and his booking label.  Every Otherfest, he shows up with a jar or two of Arkansas moonshine and shares it with the other bands, a lot of whom he's run into and played shows on the road while touring.    

Several years ago, my birthday got a little out of hand.  We booked Faucett to play the night of.  He told me when we booked him that he had a big show in Nashville the next night so he couldn't hang around too long after the show.  Intentions are one thing.  Actuality is another.  One thing you should know is that my birthday falls a few weeks after Independence Day.  Americans celebrate Independence Day with fireworks.  I like fireworks.  It just so happened that on my birthday, I had a few fireworks left over- among others, I had the big mortar kind that look really cool exploding in the air and falling to the ground... You know, the ones they use in firework shows to wow the kids.  Well, it was getting pretty late, and I can't say whether or not Arkansas moonshine was involved because the details are a little hazy... Time makes you forget, you know.  But, it being my birthday and all, we, Adam, and his band (Johnny D, Will) decided it was time for a firework show around the time the sun began to light the morning sky.  In no way am I condoning such behavior.  The neighbors will hate you, and it isn't entirely legal to shoot fireworks inside the city limits, but if you want to have a good time,  hang out with Adam Faucett and his band on your birthday... Or any day for that matter.  He'll put on a show for you.  

Sorry mom and dad... To be continued...