When my friend Greg Thornburg saw my latest ukulele video the other day, he suggested that I bring the uke to our friend Vanessa Tortolano’s open mic variety show the next evening. Vanessa encouraged folks to bring their “love songs and love-lorn or lost songs,” so I packed my bags and headed down to the Alchemy. Greg arrived a few minutes later with guitar in hand.
Since only one other act showed up, Greg and I ended up playing all night, alternating sets and playing together. When I ran out of ukulele songs, Greg let me use his guitar. And if we strayed from the valentine/anti-valentine theme, no one threw tomatoes.
The highlight of the evening for me, and the biggest crowd-pleaser (aside from Greg’s epic, acoustic version of Kashmir), was a cover of Stevie Wonder’s Maybe Your Baby. I had brought my Real Tube overdrive pedal, and with Greg behind me on rhythm guitar, I was able to walk my uke through some serious electric solos. If I had hair, it would have been down.
It was a glorious evening, and a welcome respite from the Wisconsin winter. We had beer, music, and friends. And that’s all you need, for Lord’s sake.