I took a little vacation July 17-23 in Boston. I have some songwriter friends there that I met at the Lyons, Colorado Song School over the last few years. I had heard that Boston was a great city, with a great music scene, so I decided to go visit my friends there. Charlene DiCalogero was nice enough to offer me a place to stay, so I didn’t have to pay for lodging.
I played at The Lily Pad in Cambridge on Friday, July 18, along with Boston-area singer-writers Rob Mattson, Charlene DiCalogero and Tim Riordan. Charlene organized that show, and Tim and Rob helped with the publicity. It was a great little hall, and the crowd was small but appreciative. I used my handheld recorder, the Edirol R09, to record the show at the Lily Pad. I posted two of the songs on my myspace site, myspace.com/rroper, “Like a Child”, a song I wrote last Spring, and “The Screwup Song”.
I also played two open mics. Monday July 21, I played The Lizard Lounge in Cambridge, hosted by Tom Bianchi. What a great open mic! It’s a contest, with a $50 prize for the winner, selected by a judge appointed by Tom. You play two songs. Tom always has something positive to say about every performer, and jokes around between acts. Tom also insures that the sound is good. There were some very good songwriters there; the talent pool there is very large.
The next night I played the open mic at The Burren, a great Irish pub in Somerville. The front room is the bar, and the music room is in the rear. Here you got to play 4 songs, which is nice. (One reason I generally don’t like open mics is that I like to play for an hour. After two songs I’m just warming up!).
On Sunday night, July 20, I attended Charlene and Tim’s songwriter group, at the home of Chris and Esther (forgot their last names, dammit) in Reading. Great people. Earlier that day, we visited Charlene’s future home, a co-housing development on the outer edge of the metro area. And we went to Walden Pond. What a beautiful place; now I understand why Thoreau was so inspired.
Of course I walked around the old Boston and saw the Boston Common and the historical revolutionary war sites, and ate some good seafood. But it was mainly a music vacation. One afternoon Tim Riordan and I started writing a song. Tim came up with some cool chords and a lyrical theme, I wrote some lines, who knows if we’ll finish it. And I ran into Theresa Storch, another Boston songwriter whom I met at the Lyons Song School.
The only negative was that I came down with a cold the week before, and was suffering from that the whole trip. But all in all a good little vacation. I hope to get back there before too long.