Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Years Eve

Karen Sokohl included me in the most recent entry to her accordion blog "Accordion to Karen". Click HERE to read. Thanks Karen.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Friday Phoenician

Jesus proudly delivers yet another platter to the wedding party.

The Chicken Dance, Lebanese style                                                          


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Two Accordions @ The Phoenician

 photos Joe Sokohl

                Robert, Naji and Barry

                        Barry and Rafael  

 interior decorating by Beth, Naji's wife 

                            Karen, Naji and Barry
A girl secretly requested the Chicken Dance and got her father on the dance floor to find that neither she or her father knew the Chicken Dance. So I called in the experts Karen and her husband Joe. They handled this potentially emabarassing situation with the utmost professionalism.

So I decide I'll bring my button accordion and surprise the guys in the kitchen with some Norteno music. When I walk in the restaurant Naji comes up to me first thing and says, "Do you know any Norteno music?" This gig has been full of serendipitous coincidences like that.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Dusting Off Ye Olde Button Accordion

This is my first accordion. A double row diatonic button accordion. I found it at a flea market in Southside RVA in the early 1980's. Since I didn't know how to play I couldn't really learn songs, so I made them up. That's pretty much been my musical MO. Here's the first one I made up.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

First Day of December @ The Phoenician

This week Robert Jacobs will join me at the Phoenician. He'll play his set around 8 PM and we'll also play a couple of duets.

I consider Robert to be my mentor. As Chris Bopst says, "He has the touch."

It's officially Holiday Season so expect a couple of Christmas carols and Chanukah songs. Chanukah comes earlier this year, Dec. 8 - 16.


And this week I hope to play in the kitchen again for the people who prepare all that wonderful food.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Southside Opera

Khalima and  I perform as "Professor Bless and the Dancing Madwoman". Click HERE to view our blog.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Phoenician Thanksgiving Weekend

photos: Jennifer Watson

Beth, Naji and myself. Beth, Naji's wife decorated The Phoenician. Naji loves music almost as much as he loves food.

Being in the Phoenician is like having stepped into a cozy, comfortable desert tent or a night club in a casbah. I try to add to that mood as best I can.

I've enjoyed meeting chef Rafael Infante. His approach to cooking is a lot like my approach to music. More on that later...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Phoenician

Thank you to everyone who came out last week. It was such a success we're going to do it again.

As a friend from a Greek family told me, "The Phoenician is one of Richmond's best kept secrets." I'm proud to be able to add musical ambiance to a local establishment with a gracious owner, a friendly international staff, lush comfortable interior and great food.

I'll be playing Middle Eastern, French Mussette, American Standards, Klezmer and my own compositions.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Nova Scotia

My friends Brad and Stacie Birchett went to Nova Scotia and I so enjoyed their photos I asked if they'd put me in one. They obliged.

I can smell the brine in the air and taste the seafood.

The song I recorded on my button accordion. Not sure if I made it up or just forgot where I learned it.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Phoenician

MCV Concert

photo: Ron Lee
painting: Baxter Perkinson
music: a litle Munsters, a little Addams Family, a little Nightmare before Christmas...

Monday, January 16, 2012

This year, 2012, Mother's Day falls on my mother's birthday, May 13. My mother was a talented piano player. Her family didn't allow her to go to conservatory because that wasn't the proper thing for a lady to do back then.
Most of her playing was in churches and for inmates at the City jail and the State penitentiary.
When she was about my age, 57, she bought an accordion at a yard sale.  She wanted to learn to play it when she retired.
She died early and never learned. I started playing after her death.
Here is her favorite song, "Moon River". It's not perfect, but her love was unconditional.
Serendipitously, at the end the phone rings and says "phone call from Emma".
Emma, my daughter, was given my mother's middle name.