Joe Ely at The Mystic here in Petaluma. One perk of moving back here is the fact I can walk down there from our house. It's literally 2 blocks away which is pretty sweet.
Also sweet was the fact I got in for free. I have no idea how...I just walked up to the door, $20 in hand and the guy apparently knew me and let me in. Makes me glad I'm not an angry drunk as the last few times I've been there, I've been hammered. I also know the bartender there. Another small town perk I guess.
Anyway..the show was super cool. It was a Wednesday night and I was probably the youngest person there, not counting the little kids that were dragged down there by their parents. The place was half full and everyone was sitting at tables and chairs about 20 yards from the stage. Kind of weird for such a legendary troubador, but it was midweek.
If you've never heard of him, Joe Ely is easily one of the best songsmiths around. I wish I could say, "you know that song ______, well he wrote that" but he really doesn't have any "hits." His fans include The Clash and Bruce Springsteen who sings on his album "Letter to Laredo" which, if he sounds interesting to you at all, is a great album to get.
The show was just Joe and Joel Guzman on accordian. Guzman apparently won a grammy for best tejano album. Ely didn't really seem to have a setlist and just kind of meandered around, playing whatever he felt like. But every one of his songs is like a story. He also told some great stories in between.
Then, about 3/4 of the way through the show, he played a slow song and out of nowhere, this older couple just got up and started slow dancing. It was so....cool. These 2 just didn't give a shit that 200 people were sitting there. And fortunately, they were good dancers.
After that, everyone started getting closer and closer to the stage and by the end of the 2 hour set, everyone that had been quietly sitting was gathered around the stage. It was really neat...one of those special kind of nights. I'm so glad I went.