Mudcat Café message #2621965 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #119924   Message #2621965
Posted By: Charley Noble
30-Apr-09 - 11:34 AM
Thread Name: Music In Michigan (Charley Noble)? 20-23 April '09
Subject: RE: Music In Michigan (Charley Noble)? 20-23 April '09
I've resurfaced here in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the East Town neighborhood to be specific. I used to have some friends who worked with the neighborhood organization here in the 1970's but they are pretty much scattered to the wind. I did some nosing around Wealthy Street yesterday afternoon to see what was happening, noting the new Ethiopian restaurant that has taken root; there really is a wave of Ethiopian restaurants sweeping over this country ("Wat's up!" should be their slogan)! The Grand Rapids Folk Music Society is now running their activities out of a newly renovated community theatre building, booking such performers as Lou and Peter Barryman, Bill Staines, and regional favorites that I couldn't identify. There was a fine natural food store and bakery, where I stocked up on cheese and bread for myself and my host.

Then I ventured over to Paul's house and found a note on the door saying they were off at a nearby Italian restaurant and I should join them; cell phones work well here so I was able to reach Paul and his nephew Tyler and have them order something while I was on my way. It turned out to be Paul's birthday as well so I got a chance to add an "appaling" verse to "Happy Birthday" when the cake magically appeared.

Then we went back to the house to see if the music party was going to happen. Well, this time it didn't. I called Big Mick again and found that he was tied up with family concerns but that he was very interested in getting together with Paul later; I hope they do so because I think they'd have a great time swapping songs and discussing Michigan politics. So we did swap a few songs between the three of us but it was mostly an evening of stories of what happened when, and what some of our old friends had been up to.

This morning Paul introduced me to the Second Life website where he is an active player, performing live music in a virtual reality folk club. Maybe I need to shift over there from stodgy old Mudcat! But, then again, they probably don't have a critical mass of sea music people. Still, we could stream live from the Press Room sea music gatherings! It does boggle my mind and it certainly could technically be accomplished, more likely by a teenager than someone from my age group. But Paul is certainly making progress on Second Life and has a group of fans.

I'm encouraging Paul to spend a week in Maine so Judy and I can record some of his fine songs, edit them, and provide him a master for running off some CD's. He's really an excellent songwriter with a wealth of human experience to draw upon. I think this will happen.

That's about it for now,
Charley Noble, adrift in Grand Rapids