Wednesdays 5-6:30pm October through February

I got myself a once a week solo acoustic show!

It's in St. Paul, near Como Park, near the fairgrounds.

I'm putting it up on this website calendar today.

It'll be every Wednesday night from 5-6:30pm.

I can bring up special guests!

I can play electric or acoustic!

I can play brand new songs!

I can make up songs while I'm up there playing!

I can dress up or dress down.

I can play it happy or play it sad.

Freedom, freedom, freedom!

The place is called The Underground Music Cafe. (There's a sister cafe in Minneapolis, don't get them confused.)

This is the only place in the Twin Cities that I have ever asked to do a weekly show for an entire Fall-Winter season like this. 

Luckily they said yes.

I played there a week ago. I've played there quite often over the past two years since I came back from New York City.

It was my young friend and colleague from the Ukraine, Dasha Ovsiannikova, who first invited me to play on a bill with her there. I don't know how she found it, but I remember she was trying to get herself a gig at the age of fourteen to promote the solo acoustic album of ten original songs that I produced for her with Rob G as engineer, a wonderful album. She is wonderful and I love her.

I asked for gigs after that periodically, between tours, when I would be in Minneapolis, but with no heart in Minneapolis, only my body here, my heart pining for New York, my mind literally tormented with the desire to be on tour promoting my name, my albums, my book. 

For some reason, maybe for every obvious reason, this little cafe always felt like home to me. 

At first I was embarrassed to play there. I thought that I was supposed to play the cool places and be part of the cool scene since I had done so much and accomplished so much. 

I set up shows at the cool places. The cool places are cool, don't get me wrong. The cool places send up new cool people all the time. Part of why they're cool is because the owners and the booking people and the patrons and the musicians all want to stay au courant.

Staying au courant is an interesting game in and of itself.

Monsieur Dylan stays au courant by winning the Nobel fucking Peace Prize. He stays au courant by playing seven nights in a row at The Beacon Theater this October (I want so much to be there...I want so much to be the opener). He stays au courant by putting out excellent new music consistently and prolifically. That's the playbook I intend to emulate.

So, this little cafe.

I want to have my little corner, like I do with this blog, for my weekly solo show. To read this blog, you have to come find me. I am not shouting this out to the hilltops. I post the link on social media and I try to add a tantalizing if not titillating photo, but you have to take the bait and click on the link. I like operating this way. 

I've always said that I don't invite friends and family to my shows because I don't have family and friends. Haha. That was never true, but it felt true to me for a long while. I never wanted to populate the venue with people doing me a favor. 

One of the reasons I enjoy being on tour so much whether it's the US or Europe is that I can see with my own eyes what effect my music has on people. They don't know me personally. They can decide for themselves. If I can make these strangers laugh and cry, and I can laugh and cry with them, I have truly accomplished something great.

So, this little cafe.

This cafe has everything I want. It has easy access by side roads during afternoon traffic. The time slot of 5-6:30pm means you can come to my show as your last stop of the day before you go home for the night.

It has an attached parking lot, and in the Twin Cities, most people drive around in their own cars and so every single person needs to be able to park their car, it's bad but it's real. So, there's a big free of charge parking lot. That alone is huge to me.

The cafe is not a bar but it has a cute little bar with stools that you can sit at. They serve a good inexpensive beer and wine selection and they give me a free glass of wine when I play.

They have a big, really cool, pizza oven and they are constantly turning out these awesome handmade pizzas. That is one of the best parts. And the guys who make the pizzas are very cool music supporters or musicians themselves and they're nice to me and clap at the end of my songs and stuff like that.

There's an actual stage and an actual sound system. I usually have to do the sound myself but I'm good at it there now and I can play loudly enough that it is in no way background music for diners. In no way is this the case. On a side note, what I've noticed, is that if my voice is loud and clear enough, people take it as a concert. If my voice is down in the mix with the guitar or muffled in any way and hard to hear the words, I turn into background music. I make sure that doesn't happen.

I have had a fan or two show up and be disgusted that people weren't listening well enough. I think I've gotten more of a handle on that now. It's up to me to command the room in a way that is one hundred percent entertaining and positive, not guilting people into shutting up. The place is called The Underground Music Cafe. It's a live music venue, first and foremost. Isn't that great? So on some level everybody knows it's about the performance taking place, not about the pizza, even though the pizza is awesome.

I am going to play every Wednesday and I hope that very young people, very old people, and everybody in between will look forward to coming to hear me.

It is nice to be able to say that it's every Wednesday for the Fall and Winter. It has such continuity. I love it.

Yesterday I picked up the phone and actually called over there to seal this deal with them. I won't be paid, I will play for tips and donations and cd and book sales. So I have to play really really well if people are going to part with their hard earned dollars by choice.

I called because they hadn't responded to my email request for a weekly spot.

When I called, the woman who is in charge of booking was there and able to talk to me. She didn't hesitate. She apologized for not getting back to me yet. She asked what day and what time slot I wanted. She asked how often and for how long I wanted to commit to this. I said once a week all the way up until March first when I leave on tour again.

And then she said, "Yes. Sure. That'll be great Courtney."

I'm just going to say to you that you don't get responses like that from the cool people at the cool venues. They always have reservations and disclaimers. They always have a thought in their minds like, "why should I give her this?" They're always concerned that the newest coolest thing is going to come along or pass them by. They don't like to commit to too much. Or at least, not with me they don't.

So. this little cafe.

I am so grateful and so happy and so excited. 

Beginning October 10th and every WEDNESDAY 5-6:30PM. See you there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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