This week I’ll be at Pascale Italian Bistro

I’ll be at Pascale’s (www.pascaledrumlins.com) from 7:30-10:30 pm this Saturday, January 31st. For some of you, that means not having to drive quite so far to hear yours truly do his musical thing. For me, it means being able to do something at least halfway competent on the grounds of a golf course – even if it doesn’t happen to be golf.

My latest project is to beef up my repertoire of the newer country songs. The motivation comes from talking with some high school students who told me that they all loved artists like Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton (whose songs I didn’t know) as well as Randy Travis and Zac Brown (whose songs I’ve been playing for a long while). If teenagers like a certain genre of acoustic music, it’s a good reasons to learn as many of those tunes as possible.

So this week’s addition is a great song, Shelton’s “My Eyes.” You’ve gotta love a song with this line : “My eyes are the only things I don’t wanna take off of you.”

Hope to see you then.

Come in from the cold to the hot food and warm atmosphere at Frankie’s

Judging from attendance at the last few shows, it sure seems that the idea of cozying up at Frankie’s with some excellent food, good friends, and sweet music is catching on. Rumor has it that this Friday from 6-9 pm will be no different. So please try to stop by at 656 North Salina Street (frankiesnybistro.com) and join in the experience.

You’ll definitely want to make reservations by calling 315-863-4098. Make sure to tell them to seat you upstairs with me. They’ll have a 4:00pm – 7:00 pm Early Bird Special: 1/2-price appetizers or a free dessert with the purchase of an entrée (not good with any other offers).

Hope to see you then.

Serious fun playing outside at Frankie’s Piccolo Bistro

Last week the owners at Frankie’s called to ask if I’d play outside for an impromptu celebration of good weather in Syracuse.  Of course, It took me about 2.3 milliseconds to agree. It ended up being a glorious evening of outside music and dining. Of course, the event was all the sweeter because so many of you showed up to join in the fun.

If you haven’t eaten at this restaurant, you should (frankiesnybistro.com).  Even my Italian friends said it’s the best Italian food you’ll find, all at a reasonable price. You’ll want to call for reservations at (315) 479-8797. I’m playing there again on this coming Friday (6/27) from 6-9pm.

Must be Spring — I’m back at Green Lakes

I’m looking forward to another summer of singing in a venue that has a remarkable view of the lakes and hills of Central New York. For me, I’m twice blessed. With my back to the clubhouse I get to look not only at the scenery, but also at all my friends having drinks and dinner on the porch.

The restaurant’s manager, Michele, promises great food, well-served (and additional gigs for me as the summer progresses). Hope to see you there — Michael

The Joys of Watching People Dance

I decided that the sweetest moments of a gig are when couples hear a song, look at each other, put down their utensils, and get up to dance. Or maybe a Dad’s with his little girl and they start twirling. It’s usually to songs like “Fools Rush In” or “She’s Got a Way About Her.” Because I got to thinking I should expand my repertoire of danceable songs, this week I dusted off and upgraded “Wonderful Tonight” and “Midnight Hour.” Come by this Friday evening (or just about any Friday evening) from 6:30-9:30 pm to do some dancing of your own.

Re-acquainted with some old favorites

So I went to a beer festival last weekend and, from the rafters, heard songs by Taj Mahal I had played long ago, but not in years. They’re great tunes: Corinna, Cakewalk into Town, and Stagger Lee (I play the Fishing Blues all the time).  My favorite line’s from Cakewalk:
 

“I woke up this mornin’ feelin’ so good, you know I laid back down again
Throw your big leg over me mama, I might not feel this good again”

You gotta love the subtlety.

Michael Gordon, Wedding Singer

Turns out that singing for four hours at a wedding reception is tremendous fun. It was especially sweet because the couple were a bit older and fans of 70s acoustic music of the sort i play. At their request I learned “Bless the Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts so I could play it for their first dance. Sweet tune. The rest of the time I played everything from “Ring of Fire” to the “Hokey Pokey” (a two year-old requested it). Not sure how many more couple are looking for something other than a loud band at their wedding, but I’ll be ready.

Back at Green Lakes!

Yeah, it’s been a couple of years, but I’m finally headed back to the porch at Green Lakes. I have excellent memories of playing there for almost an entire summer a few years back. It’s remarkable to play overlooking one of the most stunning views anywhere. And so many friends came out regularly to have dinner and a beer or two.

Gance’s out of Rochester now operates the restaurant.  The gigs take place 8/10 and 8/24 between 5:30 and 8:30 pm. 

Re-thinking My Folk Song Fears

I’ve been cautious in my gigs about not singing too many of the folkier songs for fear of sounding like the group in the movie, “Mighty Wind.” Sure, I’ll lace the playlist with tunes like “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “This Land is Your Land” – but not too often.  But, then again, it’s amazing how many bands and popular artists cover the older folk songs. Take Woodie Guthrie’s song “Deportees (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos).” It’s about as 1960’s as it gets. And yet it’s been covered by everyone from Old Crow Medicine Show, Dolly Parton, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, and Nanci Griffith to Johnny Cash and Bruce Springsteen. I have to figure that, if performed properly, a song like this one can work fine even outside a coffee house with peanuts on the floor.  So get ready to hear a few more folk song gems.

Been having a blast performing weekly at Mohegan Manor

You’ll find me performing at Mohegan Manor again ever Friday night from 6:30 to 9:30 pm.  It’s a fantastic place for me to play. The clientele are incredibly encouraging, the place tends to be full, and the staff a hoot.

The restaurant is located at 58 Oswego Street in Baldwinsville. It’s one of very few restaurants in the area that enthusiastically promotes live entertainment.  So come by and support a venue that offers the best in music – alongside outstanding food, wine, and atmosphere.  (Go to moheganmanor. com to keep in touch with their schedule. You can also receive a $20 gift certificate for loading their app, which you can find here).

I’ve been learning new songs at a fast clip, mainly in response to requests. I can now offer up some Billy Joel (She’s Got a Way About Her), Maroon 5 (She Will Be Loved), U2 (All I Want Is You), The Grateful Dead (Casey Jones), Harry Chapin (Circle), and Wilson Pickett (Midnight Hour).

Hope to see you at Mohegan Manor — Michael