Last Monday marked the reintroduction of the Sidewalk Talk show, my little interview program held on the Sidewalk stage during the open mic. Ray Brown was the first guest of this new wave of the endeavor. Ray hung out and performed at the Chameleon, one of the spots where Lach's open mic scene developed before moving eventually around the corner to Sidewalk Cafe. After things wrapped up at the Chameleon, Ray stayed away from his guitar for something like 20 years before returning to Sidewalk about a year and a half ago. During out interview Ray talked a little bit about the scene at the Chameleon, including recollections of artists like Paleface, Jason Trachtenburg, and Beck. Ray also talked a bit about his own songs, including the change in his songwriting style from the days of the Chameleon until now. The Sidewalk Talk show returns tonight, featuring an interview with an amazing artist who is performing on the Antifolk Festival bill this week.
Last week's open mic on Valentine's Day included "I Hate You" an opportunity for participants to play songs they hate--in contrast to the more frequent "I Heart You" sessions which feature covers of more appreciated tunes by other artists on the scene. There weren't too many I Hate You selections featured, although Ben Krieger played Hallelujah, Keith Hammond played Steve Earle's Guitar Town, and JJ Hayes did Seasons in the Sun.
Other folks who gave it a stab last week included Ryan Martin, The Fools, Sima Cunningham (who sang Dolly Parton's Jolene), Josh Blanco, and Blueberry Season.
See you tonight with more Sidewalk Talk Show and the launch of the winter Antifolk Fest.