From: Mike Zim
Date sent: Mon, 9 May 2005
Subject: P'burgh X 2

While driving into Pittsburgh last Tuesday afternoon, we were happily
treated to an extensive radio interview. One of the topics was San
Francisco in the 60's.  Dan said he left Haight-Ashbury for Sausalito when
the bikers & their ilk arrived.  (Shopkeepers boarding up storefronts,
etc.)  The host suggested that Dan really should write an autobiography,
since he was a part of such a fervid period and place.  He said he was
thinking about doing a songbook, with related stories accompanying the
songs. Yeah!   (I tried to place an advance order after the evening's
show, but Dan advised that only page one is complete.) He nimbly played
three songs solo.  (I'd wrongly assumed multiple guitars were in the mix,
but it was him by his lonely.)  He used a lyric cheat-sheet for one of the
newer songs.  To those who titteringly whine "Well you wrote the song. You
should know the words.", he says "Just because I wrote it doesn't mean I
can reel it off cold.  They can just........"  He was straight-ahead,
enthusiastic, and so funny in this interview.

The Club Cafe is in an arty neighborhood, intimate (seats about 70), and
well-equipped.  (Jill Sobule, Adrian Belew, & others have recorded DVD's

The players: Dave Bell, Richard Chon, Paul Smith, Linda Groves, and
new to me, the fine jazzist Roberta Donnay. (She composed "One World", the
UN peace anthem.)  Plus, in an unexpected venue, Pope Benedict.  (Hey, add
scat to his language proficiencies.)

The songs:
4 or 5 times
'Long Come a Viper
Shootin' Straight ("Wrote during my Blue Period.  ......Mostly black and
blue.") Buzzard Was Their Friend  ("This song is about riding the rails
with Willie, Waylon, and Kristoferson. It was guys, just guys.  People
thought we were gay.") That Ain't Right ("None of the Pittsburgh cover
bands are doing this one tonite.  You can only hear it here.") The Blues
My Naughty Baby Gives Me I Scare Myself      Intermission Give Me the
Simple Life  (w/stately movements, and deep-voice singing) I Feel Like
Singin' One More Cowboy ("Willie was supposed to come in for this song,
but was a no-show.  Some mixup down at the bus station.") (Wes Montgomery
stylizations by Bell.) Barstool Boogie (Love that shuffle beat!) I've Got
a Capo On My Brain See You In My Dreams Payday Blues Evenin' Breeze

Overall things were tightly run, and the presence of a roving cameraman
gives hope a DVD may result. (!) During the post-show meet and greet, one
fan said his Carnegie-Mellon doctorate was on the Avalon Ballroom, a 60's
landmark venue. Here's a bit on that for the youngsters:
ballroom Dan went the
extra mile for fan photos.  He was SO obliging to various posing requests,
that I wondered about limits.  I requested a yoga grapevine (tendril hands
& legs), and he did an arms-only abbreviated version.  However, he
demurred when I asked that he perform a series of squat thrusts. (Drily,
"You sure have a lot of ideas.")

This was a transcendant production, in all respects:  Material, chops,
vocals, repartee, wardrobe, grooming, theatrics, etc.  Where else can you
get such class and value for your entertainment-cum-therapy dollar?  

One satisfied customer,
Mike Zim