Saturday, April 20, 2013

Wishin' and Hopin'

It was enough that it was Record Store Day.

It got even better when Plan 9 announced a live in-store Dusty Springfield tribute at 3:00 with multiple friends playing as part of it.

It got even funnier when one of them announced, "We will be taking roll. And 20% of your final grade as a Richmonder will be based on participation."

Although I hardly need bonus points in that department, I'm also the kind of eager beaver willing to go for extra credit.

Naturally it didn't actually happen at 3, but that's beside the point.

It gave me plenty of time to browse the wax and mingle with assorted record-lovers.

The inimitable Herschel, nattily clad and with his hair neatly parted, led off with his uke, doing a couple of Dusty songs ("Randy Newman wrote that but Dusty sang it") before Paul told him his time was up.

Someone near me commented how self-assured Herschel sings when he's singing anyone's songs but his own. Another said she only came because Herschel was playing.

I may have been in the middle of a Herschel fan club meeting.

To his credit, he opened his ukulele case when he was done and solicited donations to the National Breast Cancer Coalition, in honor of Dusty, who died of breast cancer.

It's just the kind of thoughtful thing Herschel would do.

It took a while for the six musicians to assemble onstage and by then a good-sized crowd had formed in front of all the people browsing the stacks.

Charlane was the first featured singer and she did two classics, "The Look of Love" and "You Don't Own Me."

Ringleader Paul took over vocal duties for "Breakfast in Bed" and "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself," even though he's not the same sex as Dusty.

I guess being ringleader gives you extra privileges.

Next up singing was Christina from Low Branches and I was eager to hear her ethereal voice doing Dusty.

She moved over to the main mic and looked aghast at it, causing Paul to acknowledge, "Yea, I slobbered all over it."

"Gosh, Paul!" she gulped, no doubt appalled at all the spit covering a device she was now expected to use.

"It's rock and roll," he shrugged, leaving her to removed the mic from the stand and hold it a safe distance from her own mouth.

Alas and alack, Paul's outstanding guitar work all but drowned out her vocals on "Some of Your Loving," a fact pointed out by both Charlie and me, but which unfortunately did not improve much for her second song.

Along with the rest of the crowd, I strained hard to hear her do "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" and she got major applause afterwards.

Lindsey of Hot Dolphin closed out the show with a kickin' version of Dusty's "Son of a Preacher Man" (with Paul on a different, less noisy guitar), getting everyone in the crowd grooving along with her.

Paul thanked the audience for coming, noting, "That's the way to celebrate Record Store Day!"

The older black guy in shades and a colorful cap standing behind looked at me and said, "You bet it is!"

And, yes, in the spirit of Record Store Day, I bought myself Miguel's "Kaleidoscope Dreams" because my favorite record collector and Beer Betty, Melissa, had turned me on to new R & B done right.

As far as I'm concerned, I got an A in record Store Day and on 20% of my final grade as a Richmonder.

But just to be sure, I'm going to go out and score some extra credit tonight.


  1. None of my guitars are especially noisy. That was Natalie's bass I was playing. Thanks for coming! Herschel's PA sucks. Not my fault.

  2. That yellow one was a bass?

    Of the various instruments you played, it was the only one that drowned out the singer. The irony was, your guitar part sounded great.

    Maybe Herschel couldn't hear the problem because it was 4/20 (just sayin').

  3. I will not comment on the "420"-related impact on any of the participants. The black Eastwood Airline bass which you referred to as "a different, less noisy guitar," is Natalie's bass. The "yellow one" is my "Hanorcaster." I would like to do that again with horns, strings and a real PA...and some more rehearsal.

  4. While I loved the sound of the Hanorcaster, it was just too loud for Christina's voice. I know which one was Natalie's bass and it wasn't too loud. It, too, sounded great.

    It was an all-around great set, especially considering the short time frame you had to put it together.

    Well done!