Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Mercy Lounge: Good For My Soul

Last night, I took a break from responsibilities and went to The Mercy Lounge as a well earned favor to myself. Fitting the budget of "free", I set out to listen to their famous 8 on 8th series. Arriving early, Rosie Flores was finishing her farewell to Nashville show. And so I paid a cover after all, but what a reward I received. This talented woman had been in my town for seven years and tonight, her last night, I saw her in her greatness for the first time. She knocked my socks off. And what a cast of characters who joined her onstage to be a part of this wonderful aural experience. Joy Lynn White, people with the last name Scruggs, and some guy who looked to be about 6'5" and rail thin with a huge cowboy hat atop his dark haired head.

When he started up, I wasn't sure what we were in for. I wasn't quite sure he wasn't drunk and I wasn't sure if this was about to be a train wreck. Turns out, his presence and voice resonated with me in a wonderfully powerful way. He had a bit of that old Hank Williams force and look about him. And that voice was a bit haunting. If anyone knows who I'm describing, please tell me his name. I have to catch his next live show.

Joy Lynn White was an awe inspiring treat as well. I remember having a crush on her back in the nineties when her first few records came out. Vividly, I still recall the day that she came into the record store where I worked and bought a few CDs from me. Bouncy and happy and full of kindness, her love for life and her love for music told the story of a woman doing in life the very thing she was supposed to be doing. And here she was a good decade plus later, still performing and still looking like she had won the lottery to still be so fulfilled by living a life in music.

Bobby Cochran, Chris Scruggs, and his mom Gail Davies were all there as well, adding to the magic of the night. Rosie Flores certainly was surrounded by greatness and love. She was fun and fantastic and I'm sorry that I only last night saw the light to her talent. But she's going west and Nashville will miss her dearly.

As for the free show that followed, it was a blast. Eight young unsigned bands playing a few songs each, and they all sounded great. The sound was diverse and the songs were full of fire. Leaning against the bar, I thoroughly enjoyed my time. The bartender was nicer and friendlier than any bartender I'd met in a club in a decade or more. She reminded me a bit of Betty Page. She had jet black hair pulled back, a white wifebeater t-shirt, and tattoos on her shoulder. Absent of any "cooler than you" attitude, she raised the bar for bartenders everywhere. She seemed to love her job and was generous with infectious smiles. The way it ought to be everywhere.

I just wish I could remember the names of the bands onstage. It seems that they all had myspace profiles, but I can't remember their names for anything. Is there a way to just find Nashville based bands on myspace? If not, that'd be a nice feature. It would certainly help those of us who want to support local acts.

Anyway, it was a good night out. I come back to my family recharged and refreshed after a night spent pursuing my pleasures as a music fan. It was nice to reconnect with my twenty-something self. If there are any rock clubs who need a doorman and also provide extensive family health insurance coverage, let me know. I'm your man.


BBLogan said...

Man... how did I miss that?! It sounds like a GREAT night of music. I've been wanting to hear Joy for quite a while now.

AND, you can search for just Nashville bands on My Space. Click the "Music" link in the top nav (second to the last link) and go to town.

Good luck finding them... cause I want to know the names. HA.

Muffy said...

Oh that bartender there is AWESOME. She's really really cool and you're right - she doesn't have that attitude at all.

Anonymous said...

Hi I ran across your blog and realized that I might know who you saw at Mercy Lounge that night - it might have been Justin Townes Earle. take care.