So the last Wednesday of this month fit snugly between holiday bliss and new year’s festivities, that wonderful respite of joy in which we tend to continue celebrations with friends and family whom we haven’t seen in quite a long time. And perhaps because of this sugary timeliness, December’s installment of our new series was made that much sweeter. If you were a member of the audience and are reading this now, know that I was particularly taken by your warmth and grace and interest in music that is made the old-fashioned way. No ipod, no laptop, no headphone sharing going on here. Just live music in a super intimate atmosphere and listening space. I still love the guitar. I love its relationship to the finger. I love how it waltz’s with a harmonica, how it converses with our memories.
It is with these affinities that I watched Phil Minissale and Joe Iadanza last night, both accompanied by the tasteful Craig Akin on upright bass. Unlike most of his guitar-playing peers his age, Phil Minissale’s influences might involve more Muddy Waters and “Kind Hearted Woman” than Kings of Leon. So when he deftly picks and croons about spending “23 years” hurting with the blues over some poignant experience or another, we’re amazed when we find out that that those 23 years are the only 23 years he’s been on this earth.
And in the same way Phil’s youth impresses us, it’s Joe Iadanza’s perseverance and experience that shines during his set. He’s committed to engaging with his audience, and his enthusiasm for what he does is the brightest light on the tree. Can’t wait for more presents next month/next year.
Photos by Louis DeLalio