I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken

Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
-Bertrand Russell

What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell

May 27, 2013 - 12:04 p.m.


I always feel that I start writing too late. It's not too bad today, 10:07 but part of me wants to start by 9:00. I realized that the reason is that means I'm wasting less time dithering online.

Last night was the third Snake Oil Revue at Rockwood Music Hall. These are shows that Mark Miller from Spuyten Duyvil puts on and Ron Olesko from WFDU and the Hurdy Gurdy Folk Club hosts. The two constants are that Spuyten Duyvil is one of the bands and I sell the merch. The show was later this time, 8 PM. My plan was to get there early and have barbecue at a place I just found out about around the corner then get to the show before doors. Great plan till the Chronklepts hit me. I got a text from Fred asking me to save him a seat. That was at 7 PM. I wasn't even dressed. I wanted to be there before then. I flew into my clothes and out the door. I checked on Google Maps for the quickest route. It told me to take the bus to the . Google Maps works great except for when the MTA is doing track work and the runs express. I was lucky that didn't happen an I got there before 7:40, right after Fred. He grabbed us a table and I went looking for Mark or Beth to talk about the Merch. I didn't really get a chance to because they were doing a run through. The problem is that Rockwood is set up for you to do the merch in the back room which does not work well when people are staying in the main room for the next act. The first two shows we set up a table by the front door. This time I decided to try just seeing up at a table by the stage with Fred. Mark and Beth were agreeable and we gave it a try. It is certainly better for me as I get to sit with a friend.

Spuyten Duyvil was the only one I knew in the lineup. First up was Jerron Blind Boy Paxton. He's not blind. He's filled with surprises. He comes out with a fiddle and plays like Marc O'Connor. After one song I was going to write a glowing review. I had no idea what I was in for.

The second song he played the fiddle and sang some. Good singer. Then he pulls out the guitar and gone is the celtic influenced Appalachian music and in comes the blues singer. I heard echoes of Reverend Gary Davis then he did Candyman. Then he switched to what sounded like a pop song from the thirties followed by what he said was the flip side of the single, Tiptoe Through the Tulips. Pretty versatile, huh? He didn't just play these songs, he played them incredibly. He's great at whatever he does. So then he pulls out a banjo. As Fred said Mumford and Sons aren't in his league. That's all he had time for but that's not all there is to him. Right before the show somebody sat down at the empty seat at our table. A very well dressed man with long hair but hard to see in the dark and with big sunglasses on. I thought he looked like Russian Michael but figured it wasn't him. Russian Michael is a friend of Christine Lavin who is a regular at Cast Party. When I go I usually sit at his table. Early on Jerron talked to him from the stage and called him Michael. Then I knew it was him. When there was a break while Jerron tuned I said he. We both had gone through the not being sure if the other person was who we thought he was thing. Once he knew it was me I got a big bear hug. He's that kind of guy. No half measures. He told me that he discovered Jerron playing rag-time piano. The man really does do everything and does it great. He has a regular Sunday night gig at Terra Blues. I have to catch that. You have to catch that. He's my new mission. All My Gentle Readers need to see him.

He won over the entire crowd. He took everyone's breath away. So you'd think he'd sell a lot of CDS, right? He might of if he had CDS. He doesn't He only has vinyl. Not even LPs but either a 45 or a 78. He doesn't have a website just a Myspace, Blind Boy Paxton.. One more surprise. He's a black guy from South Central LA and he's orthodox Jewish complete with yarmulke and tsitsis. After the show he wore a bowler over the yarmulke.

After the show Beth and I sat at the bar in the back room with him. A fascinating man. He sang for us there and Beth joined him even when she didn't know the words. I thought he'd be great singing Stacklee. He said he knew a toast about Stacklee, a vulgar one. He did it for us, it was more of a rap. It was vulgar, Every third word was F%#@ but it was clearly the story of Stacklee. I mentioned that my favorite part of the song were the parts in hell. He then sang that, kick ass of course. I have to show you multiple videos so you get a tour of what he does. First here he is with the Stack O'Lee toast follow by virtuoso banjo.

Here he is fiddling and singing. He did this song last night.

On the piano and talking about himself.

Finally on the guitar.

Can you tell I'm excited? He's a special talent.

Next up was Lindsay Lou. On most days Id be raving about her and her band. But I'm already over a thousand words into this. To the general public she plays blue grass it has the same instrumentation, mandolin, fiddle, and dobro, and they all sing around one condenser mic. But it isnt bluegrass. I dont know what you call it but I think it's what bluegrass grew out of it even though they are new original songs. Some are in Spanish. She will also surprise you. After her set Fred and I talked about how random becoming a star is. These two are clearly better than so many people that hit it bit. Part of me thinks that all it takes is for somebody with a following to tell the world that they are cool, and then they'd be cool. My Gentle Readers aren't like that. Sure I'm telling you that they are cool but that just means you'll listen for yourself and then discover on your own that I'm right. And all my Gentle Readers that have venues and radio shows you'll play or book them.

I originally planned on hardly writing about the show but I made not one but two discoveries and had to share them with you.

I've written about Spuyten Duyvil zillions of times. I've seen them zillions of times. I'm going to continue to see them zillions of times. Do I need to say more? That shows that not only are they great but that there's a there there. There's substance,

They did a lot of new songs last night from their next album,. Not quite as trad sounding as the earlier ones but not standard singer/songwriter fare either. It's still get your heart racing Spuyten Duyvil.

After the show and after hanging out with Jerron Mark, Beth, and I went over to Links for a late snack, and my dinner. I am not sure if the service was faster, it might have been that I was busy talking to my friends. But it seemed faster. I love that the guy who runs the place knows me. He's so friendly. He tries so hard to please. I hate it when I have complaints because I love the people there. This time I had no complaints and the food was as always great. Shortly after we got there we were joined by Beth & Mark's daughter Dena and her friend. They had been to a house concert in Brooklyn. That was good timing. She inherited the musical talent. She sang with them at the Budgiedome.

Coming home I didn't have the perfect timing with the bus so I took the and walked 45 of a mile home. It was a late night, I got home after 1 AM but well worth it.

Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
Late to Bed and Late to Rise - September 30, 2017
On Your Feet or On Your Knees - September 29, 2017
Why Life Doesn't End on Closing Day - September 28, 2017
Anna and King of I Am - September 27, 2017

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Horvendile May 27, 2013
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