I have a secret desire to be Robert Plant – to scream out high notes and play in a rock ‘n roll band. I grew up listening to folk singers and it wasn’t until after I had already studied jazz that I began exploring rock. Led Zepplin, Jimmy Hendrix, and Bob Dylan repeat on my favorite home playlist. The four-hour Tom Petty documentary, “Runnin’ Down A Dream” inspired me so much that I learned to play “Southern Accent” on the guitar and sang it every day for weeks.
Tonight at Stará Pekárna, I came close to having the rush of what I imagine it feels like to sing with a rock band. Stará Pekárna is a legendary rock/blues club in Brno that hosts two jazz nights a week. It’s an atypical setting for jazz as there are no banquettes or cocktail tables and the audience stands. And tonight they danced! We played two full sets and two encores and people were up on their feet and moving for the entire show.
Intoxicated by tonight’s dancing, swaying, and cheering audience, I sang in a new way. The band supported me and pushed me to go deeper, be better. One highlight was that “Big Blue Moon,” the title song from my CD (and one that has perplexed me in how it should be sung) reached a new place. Singing this song each night has finally revealed more passion and longing in my vocal sound to match the lyric.
After the show, we headed over to a jam session at a new club in Brno where Brian Charette was making a guest appearance. Brian is a good friend of mine from NYC and an amazing organ player well known in the Czech Republic. Seeing a familiar face and catching up with Brian really connected my world in NYC with this amazing experience in the Czech Republic.