the Aster last night was surprisingly delightful

I played with two other songwriters last night at The Aster Cafe in Minneapolis.

We took turns playing one song each for the whole two hour show.

We each had a stool to sit on, a guitar of our own, and a microphone.

We didn't really know each other and we didn't choose each other's music, we were all invited by a curator who didn't even come to the show! That part was so weird that we started out sort of scared.....we had to introduce ourselves and the concept of the show to the audience ourselves which was strange since none of us had this idea and we all came thinking someone else was in charge.

We also were doubtful that anyone was going to come listen to us because none of us was doing our own typical style show, and we were all at a venue where we don't have a natural following per se. So, we all started with some trepidation, like the expression, "Here goes nothing!"

But it worked! It worked gloriously!

Some fans of mine showed up and took up the first few seats by the stage, so that was encouraging.

But then more and more people were just popping their heads in and then staying!

We were all surprised at how many people seemed truly interested.

And we were interested in each other too.

I found the entire show to be completely riveting.

I was shocked when the very fun and nice sound man gave us the cue that it was our last round.

I could have gone another hour of this easily.

It was really fun.

The female songwriter's name is Andra Suchy, and her father is folk singer Chuck Suchy, and she is lovely. 

As she said last night, she sang on "A Prairie Home Companion", Garrison Keillor's radio show, as a regular guest for four years.

She's a fresh and whimsical songwriter rooted in a true prairie landscape of having grown up on her parents' farm in the Dakotas.

She's a sexier, sassier, more powerfully voiced Nanci Griffith. I loved all her songs last night.

The guy on stage with us was a younger songwriter named Nathan Walker with a band called "The Sparks".

Nathan said he started writing songs six years ago and has been frequenting the open mic scene in Minneapolis.

I said I don't know that I have the patience for the open mic scene any more, thinking of how you have to listen to a lot of very not-that-good-yet stuff to hear a few surprisingly-good-already artists.

It's not that new artists are never super great.

Sometimes they are.

But most are not. That's the fact you learn when you go to open mics a lot.

Anyway, Nathan Walker is great!

We all loved his tenderhearted but highly irreverent viewpoint as a songwriter.

He was very funny in his songs but also very tragic and sad.

He was all hyperbole and it was fresh and exciting to listen to.

And I brought my Guyatone and my mighty little pedal board which gave another element of interest since the other two songwriters were playing acoustic guitars.

And my songs were different from theirs but I was very happy with how my songs seemed fresh and good juxtaposed with the other two writers' material.

We each got $45 from the venue at the end, and a free dinner and drinks.

I was the only one who was selling merchandise, and people bought some of my recordings and I made another $50 from that.

I went home happy.

I hope we get to do that again soon!

It was great!

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