We all shuffled in to Preservation Hall – me, a couple of colleagues and about 50 strangers. The benches were all filled by the time I got through the door, but the cushions on the floor were available, and I planted myself in the first row. As the musicians entered and took their seats a sort of magic filled the air, and I realized I was literally at the feet of jazz great Charlie Gabriel.
For 45 minutes I absorbed the experience – the smell of the old piano, dust on the floor, beads of sweat on the trumpet player’s forehead, dents in the old trombone, the swoosh of the brushes on the snare and Charlie’s wrinkled smile.
Preservation Hall held the intimacy of a house concert. Live, acoustic music just feet away from the audience. I look forward to a similar magical experience next week with Chris Kokesh and Jonathan Byrd. Real people, no props, original storytelling lyrics, true talent and genuine personalities. It’s autumn and the Barn Birds are migrating to southeastern PA.