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Author Topic: Obese Journeyman Bluesman as Superhero: Paul Geremia at Jalopy  (Read 1934 times)

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Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Obese Journeyman Bluesman as Superhero: Paul Geremia at Jalopy
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2012, 07:09:05 PM »
Maybe New Yorkers are jaded?  A couple of years ago, I drove to Fallon, Nevada, an hour east from my home in Reno, to see Rory Block.  Fallon's main industry is growing alfalfa, has a population of 7,300, and the nearest town in the other direction is 110 miles to the east with a population of 192.  There were 300 people there: cowboys, farmers, other locals, a few folks from Reno.  Rory killed 'em.  Told Son House stories. Brought a local kid up to sing a duet, had a q&a with the audience, and people were lined up to buy her CD.  Go figure.

One doesn't have to figure...alfalfa says it all ;)
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

Offline eric

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Re: Obese Journeyman Bluesman as Superhero: Paul Geremia at Jalopy
« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2012, 07:33:53 PM »
Well, O'Muck, you probably have something there.   As a rule, quality entertainment is hard to come by in Fallon... :-\  Here in Reno, we get the B Team baby boomer acts at the casinos.  The era of lounge singers is pretty much over, and the local old timers tell Sammy Davis stories.  We pine for the days when the mob ran the show, it was a lot more fun.  Now, the corporate owners want a revenue stream from everything, so no more free drinks and cheap breakfasts.  Every once in while we get some interesting players at the clubs here or at Lake Tahoe but rarely any players like Rory or Paul.  The Jalopy Theatre sounds like my kind of place.  It's a shame they can't get a bigger draw.

Offline Rivers

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Re: Obese Journeyman Bluesman as Superhero: Paul Geremia at Jalopy
« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2012, 08:18:14 PM »
O'Muck, sad but true. I blame society. American Idle, etc. I see it every day at work, can't believe what otherwise intelligent people find to be important musically and culturally in general.

I just have learned to shut up or confess to musical geekdom, "oh, I'm into old blues, jazz and hillbilly music", usually draws a total blank.

I have no idea what to do about it either but am glad you are fired up. I used to be apathetic but now I really can't be bothered, as the old joke goes.

I'm looking forward to Port Townsend, where one can recapture a perspective that lasts for at least a year.

Making a living at playing it though, man, I can't imagine ever being good enough to cut through the prevailing crap. So I don't even try, music is a passionate hobby and always will be, for me, in this lifetime. That was a conscious decision, made long ago, based on my acknowledged limitations in the vocal department, not to mention lack of desire for lugging gear around and the other joys and pains of playing out for strangers in strange places.

For everyone else trying to make a go of it, make sure there's good publicity, an audience and easy parking.

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Obese Journeyman Bluesman as Superhero: Paul Geremia at Jalopy
« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2012, 09:04:45 PM »
Parking's pretty good around the Jalopy, as I recall. You just have to find the place.  :P Thankfully I've had guides when I've gone.

It should be said that the Jalopy is a pretty special place, lest anyone think Paul Geremia got screwed by some lazy bar owners who don't give a rat's ass (and I know that was not the intended impression at all, but it seems there are folks here who have never heard of the place). It's a little place in Brooklyn's Red Hook neighborhood that's run by great people. There's a small theatre stage at the back where the performances take place, with maybe 8 or 10 rows of pews for seating, last time I was there, then a front section selling good beer, coffee and assorted musical instruments of varying quality and vintage, many of them the sort of oddball stringed things that would catch the eye of musicians frequently this forum. They have roots music events of some kind going on almost every evening, and they also run a music school that has featured workshops from some deep musicians - John Cohen of the New Lost City Ramblers has taught and showed his films, Jerron Paxton's done week-long lessons there, Pat Conte has done several guitar, banjo and fiddle workshops, as well as events where he spins 78s and discusses them for a mix of young hipsters and old geezers, the Little Brothers have done a workshop there as well, and many others. They have started presenting music at other venues, like the Natural History Museum gigs that O'Muck has mentioned previously, and they are some of the folks behind the Brooklyn Folk Festival. They've started a record label and now they've opened a pub next to the theatre. How's the pub, btw?

Anyway, a great place worth seeking out.

« Last Edit: June 05, 2012, 07:07:33 AM by uncle bud »

Offline Cleoma

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Re: Obese Journeyman Bluesman as Superhero: Paul Geremia at Jalopy
« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2012, 07:53:40 AM »
The Jalopy is a real jewel, but it definitely is hard to find!  The first time I played there, we drove around for about an hour trying to find it (no GPS, and that's the ONLY time I ever wished I had one!) and just arrived in time to get onstage.  But once there, it was heaven.  Paul Geremia - one of the greats to those in the know - but I think that people who are 1) young 2) good-looking 3) offspring of famous people 4) former rock stars 5) have some kind of hokey "persona" -- those folks have some kind of a "hook" that can be used to reel in an audience.  With Paul, it's all about the music, and such deep music.  Maybe he needs to be rediscovered by some young hip blues person, but unfortunately he's not black.  He has certainly been an inspiration to me and to so many others and I hope somehow, someday, he'll get the recognition his music deserves.

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Obese Journeyman Bluesman as Superhero: Paul Geremia at Jalopy
« Reply #20 on: June 05, 2012, 11:19:35 AM »
If I can find the Jalopy, anybody can! Although, funnily enough, not the NY taxi driver who dropped me a block away...I second the motion that it's a wonderful place and I honestly can't understand why it isn't mobbed every night. The night I was there, the majority of people were on stage, and there were few in the audience.

Offline pkeane

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Re: Obese Journeyman Bluesman as Superhero: Paul Geremia at Jalopy
« Reply #21 on: June 05, 2012, 01:35:42 PM »
Hey Mr. OMuck -

Agreed -- it's a shame Paul doesn't have 'em hanging from the rafters.  That said I REALLY appreciate your description of his music.  Right on -- he is a real treasure. Anybody w/ the chance should see him live (and many times).  I'm sure I've seen him well over 100 times (in every possible venue including my back porch) and it's never less than a revelation.  But it's true he's not there to "entertain" (at least in the sense that the folk/songwriter/coffeeehouse crowd seems to expect).  Seems like Paul honed his craft when you pulled into a town and had a multi-day stay at a club & over those days you developed your crowd, let the show itself develop & change -- create some connections, etc.  The fans he develops seem to be lifers (I sure am). 

I'm glad he played the Jalopy -- I suspect he enjoyed it & will be back so there'll be more chances.....


Offline Johnm

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Re: Obese Journeyman Bluesman as Superhero: Paul Geremia at Jalopy
« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2012, 12:56:08 PM »
have some kind of hokey "persona"
I love your phrase "hokey "persona"".  It so perfectly describes a quality that is often considered to be part of a performer's special appeal, but which I almost always view skeptically.  It's a great and useful coinage.
All best,

Offline eagle rockin daddy

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Re: Obese Journeyman Bluesman as Superhero: Paul Geremia at Jalopy
« Reply #23 on: June 11, 2012, 08:59:27 AM »
Paul is simply the best. I saw him a few weeks ago here in Vermont, Just incredible. 

He looked pretty svelte, BTW.


Offline Rambler

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Re: Obese Journeyman Bluesman as Superhero: Paul Geremia at Jalopy
« Reply #24 on: December 11, 2012, 04:18:59 PM »
It's criminal people won't pay him the time of day.  Snap, entertainment is about "being at" events and "seeing" celebraties, I caught Paul up in Maine a few years back.  He was a little long at the bar over break, so most of the house split. There were 3 or 4 of us left. he came up, grabbed his 12-string and proceeded to play a killer set, re-tuning as he went (std, drop D, G6 spanish vestapol) without changing guitars. Bix, Leadbelly, McTell, his own stuff. Whew.
Red House should record a set of him on piano blues. He kills there as well.  Ok, they'd loose money, but how bout one for the arts? Rambler


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