Tuesday, September 3, 2013

September Music News You Can Use

September Music News You Can Use

 Hi -- Hope you had a nice August with a good picnic or two.   In the SF Bay Area, the fog season is ending and summer weather is just beginning.   I had a busy month and played a bunch, and I have a story to tell you.

Note: highlighted text here links to web pages, videos, etc.   For example, here is a lovely history of the gypsies and the path of the their music from Rajastan, through the Middle East, the Balkans, and into France and Spain.    This comes to me courtesy of Steve Strauss, an electric ukulele player and bassist.   If you live anywhere near Berkeley, come by Nabalom Bakery on Saturday morning and hear him play with his jazz combo.  Really great stuff like this one (wait for the slow video intro, it is worth it).   There are quite a few more there on YT too.

Before I get too far into this letter, I want to tell you about a show I am playing with Don't Look Back on September  27th at the MonkeyHouseTheater in Berkeley, an intimate listening room with great sound, located at 1638 University Avenue.  It has been awhile since I've done a concert in the Berkeley area and ages since Don't Look Back has -- so please mark Friday, September 27th on your calendars.   It is going to be a special night.   We'd love to see you and always appreciate your support.  (I have other fun gigs coming up too -- check out the calendar on my website.)

Now, here is the story.  I have been going down to LA quite a lot over the last six months.  This last trip, I was in the first boarding group on Southwest.  Southwest has open seating, and I was happy to see a window seat in row three, right up front.  Couldn't believe my luck as I stowed my bag and waited for the guy sitting in the aisle seat to get up and let me get in.    He was so engrossed in his cell phone I had to tap him on the shoulder, but he didn't miss a beat in his conversation as he popped up and let me scoot by him.

He had a familiar sounding, raspy voice, but didn't look like anyone I knew; and he kept yakking until he had to turn off his phone for take off.  Then he dove into a book while I dove into my nap, since my favorite way to fly is asleep.   I am good at that, and I was out until we made our final turn into LAX.  As I woke up, I heard him talking with a woman across the aisle.  They didn't know each other, but seemed to have some interests in common.

That sure was a familiar voice, and then I got it:  he sounded like Jerry Brown, our governor.   I snuck a closer look at him.  I had never seen Jerry Brown in person. This guy kind of looked like pictures I had seen, but not a lot and besides he was wearing a running suit with a shiny Cal jacket, and he had his stuff in a canvas shopping bag.  No power suit, no leather brief case, no security, no entourage. Still it was an intriguing thought,  Jerry Brown our governor, flying Southwest to LA just like a regular guy.   Nah, no way.

So we land and get to the gate.  "Jerry" finishes his conversation and stands and waits for the folks in the aisles ahead of us, shuffling their bags and starting for the door.  It is our turn, and I am behind him as he walks off.   Just outside the plane, the door down from the ramp to the tarmack is open.  I hear "Jerry Brown" being called from below, and Governor Jerry Brown goes through the door, down to his ride.   I continue up the ramp to the airport lobby with the rest of the passengers, thinking how cool is that!!   Jerry Brown, governor of California, riding with us regular frugal folks.   And me just about sleeping through the whole thing.

Hope your life has a few fun surprises in it every now and then too.

Roy Zat