As I was coming to the Cleveland area from which to do many prison shows in Ohio, my friend John who booked the tour asked if I was open to a gig for Friday (today) as one of the prisons did not work out on the schedule. I said “Yes” and off he went to see what might happen.
The first idea he had was an inner-city outdoor gig near a drug rehab and I was up for that as I came from addictions years ago myself.
A local group of young peeps were doing a graduation show (from a music school) and the “final” would include a full music set performed as a band, a film, rap, bit of dance and such, all very fitting for the local culture. The leaders of the school graded on performance, etc., parents and friends, classmate would be there as well.
There was a cool mix of culture, race, age and ability. But they were all quite good and really did it up right, covering a lot of styles and strong songs, much of it in r&b/soul and cool pop mode. One local teacher borrowed my guitar and did a killer jazzy sort of tune, great playing and singing. Nice.
At first most filed out as the kids and staff were congratulated… then most filed back in as I played and in the end they seemed rather appreciative. Ha!
I laced my set with a little blues history lesson trying to help them understand where all the music performed there actually came from. I shared about Psalms and African-American history, etc., brought various songs from blues peeps and some of my own on guitar, harmonica, cigarbox guitar and 1 string (diddley bow) slide guitar.
After it ended a leadership discussion took place about me coming back next year to lead the band… what a trip!! Might be cool and I would welcome it. Out of the salt shaker 🙂
The school and library staff, performers and others I interacted with were amazing and great to hang with. I noticed the sound man bring pretty enthusiastic from the opening of my set and so had to get a shot of him at the end. Cool dude, nice work! The two pics of me here came from John McClure, a good bro. indeed.
So, Cleveland, and most of these photos from the tougher, needful East Cleveland which I was fully blessed to visit today.
You just never know what God might do, ‘eh??
As always- thanks for stopping by! -Glenn