Tag Archives: accordion

One Person Can Make All The Difference

Hobbit & Hare at the Royal Room – May 11, 2017 (photo by Queenie Sunshine)

Last Friday Sketch and I went busking at Pike Place Market. We had a pretty lame first set but, hey, we’re troupers and we hung around a couple hours until our next turn came up at our favorite spot.

We were down to one more song in our second set, and it was promising to be more lame than the first one. We were all, “Yeah, it’s the season. What can you do?” and were about to launch into our last tune–It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)–when this guy stopped, said a couple of very nice things about the act, and tossed a bill into the case.

I said thank you very much and he wandered off. About that time I got a look at the bill and went, “That’s not a $1 bill!” Indeed, I was correct. Closer examination revealed it was a $50.

Boom! One generous person, at practically the very last moment, turned the entire day around.

A couple weeks ago I saw a new busker. She was playing accordion, and doing a good job of it, but her case was pretty bare. While I was listening she started to pack up. I said, “Quitting already?” and she explained how maybe she was just being impatient but the day hadn’t treated her well. This has happened to me countless times. But I’ve learned to do the whole set, even if it sometimes doesn’t pay off.

I don’t know why I didn’t let her know the moral of this story, even though I was familiar with it from previous experience. And the moral is: “Never give up! Never Surrender!”

Because you never know when that one person is coming by.

Snake Suspenderz at the Blue Moon on 04/23/17

The mighty Snakez are delighted to be opening this show for the fabulous Bakelite 78!

Snake Suspenderz, trying to look innocent

In case you don’t know Snake Suspenderz already, we’re a quartet featuring vocals, ukulele, trombone, guitar, tuba and drums. We call our music “cartoon jazz” and we play a relentlessly quirky blend of novelty songs and hits of the 1920’s and 30’s, with a generous helping of original tunes written in those styles. By turns snarky, sentimental, and exuberant, the mighty Snakez bring wildly entertaining musical fun for the whole family and then some, fulfilling our mission to provide “hot jass, hokum and novelty music — with a bite!

Bakelite 78, keeping the speakeasy vibe alive.

Bakelite 78’s repertoire is an eclectic mix of swing, Dixieland, blues, proto-country, and cabaret, as well as a plethora of originals in hybrids of these styles.  Founding member Robert Rial arrived in Chicago in 2000, eager to engage in the music he loved most: dance orchestra music/swing, country-blues, dixieland, tin pan alley, rock and American folk. Bakelite 78 preserved the music of the early 20th Century, and the band was born to keep classic crooner vocals & speak-easy jazz/lounge/cabaret alive.

In 2009, Robert departed for Seattle and Bakelite 78 was rebuilt. The new lineup of musicians includes Robert Rial on tenor banjo, six string, tenor guitar and voice, Erin Jordan on accordion and voice, Austin Quist on upright bass, Erik Reed on trumpet, Sabrina Pope on clarinet, and Steven Baz on drums.

We’re going to party like it’s 1929! Come on down!