Monday, April 30, 2007

"I Play Guitar, Can I Sit In With Your Band?"

...the most overheard question in Austin....

So I'm playing piano with Lauren Schultz Saturday night at the Y Bar and Grill.

Our drummer Chris had his back go out on him, he left after 3 songs to go nurse that. That left me and Brian Bose on upright bass backing up Lauren for the rest of the night.

Towards the end of the night, I'm looking out at audience and I see this guy sitting in a chair. My sensor goes off, 'Musician'.

He comes up to me between songs and says, hey I play guitar, can I sit in?

I tell him it's up to Lauren, and we all know what she's going to say.

Lauren is a thinner, more beautiful version of Heart's Ann Wilson, but with the same pipes when she's singing rock.

When she's singing jazz, she sounds as good as any of the female jazz singers you could name.

She also has a very strong personality and this is not a complaint. It makes her a very effective band leader and negotiater. Rumor has it when she bought her house, she left the salesman in tears and got a good deal besides.

So Lauren tells the poor guy 'no', in a very gracious and nice way.

Unfortunately, the guy didn't get the hint, or he misread Lauren as someone who would break down over time. It doesn't work that way, she just gets more resolute, especially if ya didn't hear her the first time.

So he asks me and I say, look, it's not up to me, if she said no, no is the answer, and I'm sorry.

Then, he asks her again, and I'm thinking oh, no....

He says, hey look, I'll make you a deal, let me sit in for just one song, and if you think I suck then you can tell me to go away.

She repeated her stance, and trying to avoid a scene, I say, hey look, what's your name? Look, she said no, and that's the end of it ok? I'm really sorry.

Finally the guy wanders back to his table, and I'm guessing he finally sulked out, ranting about the attitude of jazz musicians in Austin because the next time I looked for him he was gone.

But everytime I heard a noise from stage right I just knew that kid was going to walk right in with his axe....