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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Back to Big D

I was back in Dallas earlier this week, chasing deals. Spring in the Dallas - Fort Worth area is tornado season, and there were many funnel cloud sightings, heavy rains and scads of thunder and lightning during my visit. It is a bit off-putting to hear the tornado warning on the radio as you are driving through heavy rains... "Tornado warning for the Fort Worth area until 4 pm. Take cover immediately. If you cannot find a tornado shelter, find a ditch and lay flat in it until the all clear signal." Hmmm....if I am lying flat in a ditch, is it likely that I will have access to a radio to hear that all-clear signal? I think not.

Tuesday was a busy day, but I brought my harmonicas with me and wanted to play Tuesday night. I found a jam at the Mardi Gras Cafe'. This place is on the ground floor of an office tower right along Interstate 35E. I drove out in the pouring rain to find the joint; finally located it after passing it up three or four times. I dashed through the parking lot in a downpour, pulled open the door to find - an empty club. There were a handful of musicians (mostly African American guys), and one bartender there. The jam band was into classic soul tunes - old Stevie Wonder, the Temps, and so on. The keyboard player switched to drums; another keyboard player stepped up, a very young college kid played bass and the main singer played passable guitar. So I sat in for a few tunes, had a few laughs, and headed back to the hotel. As I reflect on the jam, I think it was pretty cool - no one there except musicians (and damn few of them), lots of space to play, and no competition or silliness on the bandstand. Plus, the players had some skill and grit.

I will be back at the Mardi Gras when I return to Dallas.

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