Saturday, February 21, 2009

Canal Street Tavern: "...A Special Place..."

I'm sure more than a few readers have visited Canal Street Tavern at least once. It is indeed a special place. For me this is a Dayton sacred space, where the genus loci is particularly strong and concentrated.

A special place. That is what Eric Cassidy of Shrug said from the stage last Sunday, to the owner Mick Montgomery. And it is very special. One of the places that make Dayton.

The occasion was the Songwriters-in-the-Round event. I've been to these once a long time ago.
The idea is that a group of singer-songwriters sing one after the other and then cycle through again, saying a bit about their song before performing. There is some interaction too.

I've seen this approach used at Mountain Days, so it must be a familiar approach.

The first set was Jesse Remnant, Alec Delphenic, and Eric Sommer from ...somewhere else; he's a touring muscian. I'm pretty sure I've seen Sommer before, at the Night Owl, about two years ago. He's not visible here in this pix, but does this sort of bluesy style, similar to Chris Whitley. Instead that's Jesse Remnant on the right, who is a pretty good songwriter for a young guy (his brother is in Southeast Engine, a band that is getting a lot of interest regionally, and Jesse has a band, too). Alec Delphenic came out of the Muscians Co-Op open mike nights on Tuesday, but has a band, too.

The next set was pretty suprising. From left to right, Eric Cassidy, Heather Shelton, and Jordan Hull (behind the column was Ben Schwab). I know Shrug played an acoustic set at the openening of Stone Soup Cafe (which never really opened), but I'm not sure Cassidy was there. He was quite good here, doing a cover of "Fame is just a pretty Girl". And Jordan Hull is already getting a big repuation. But it was Heather Shelton, with her great voice and delivery and somewhat melancholy songs that caught my ear.

I think this is held once a month, so if anyone likes singer-songwriter things and checking out local and visiting talent this would be worth your while.

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