Chai Restaurant. North Andover, MA. November 28, 2003
With this being the day after Thanksgiving, I expected a slow night, but it wasn't too slow. Most of the night, about half the tables in the back room were full. A few people in the front room. A very quiet crowd, though. As a result, I was able to play at a low volume and very relaxed, which was a good thing, since this was the first of four gigs for this weekend, with two of them being four-hour solo gigs. I needed to pace myself, so a relaxed gig was a good way to start.
I did a lot more improvising on this gig than usual, stretching tunes out quite a bit. It felt OK, but there was no way to guage the listeners' reactions. The customers at Chai are still not used to music, I think, and don't know exactly how to repsond. Sometimes on this gig I get the feeling that the customers are thinking, "Why is that guy sitting over there playing guitar?"
The hightlight of the evening, for me, occurred when the couple who had been sitting at the booth right next to the "stage" were on their way out. The young woman smiled and said, "Thanks for the nice music."
I had planned to talk with the owner, Chai, at the end of the night, to book some nights for December. As far as I know, he only has two other "bands" that work there: a singer/guitarist, and a jazz guitar/bass duo, both unavailable for December. So I was hoping to get every Friday and Saturday for December. At the end of the night, I talked with Chai and he got out his calendar, but then he hesitated. He said he'd talk with Scott (who up to that point had handled the booking). So I knew that it was one of those situations where Chai thought Scott was handling the booking and vice versa, and that probably meant that neither would. So chances for future gigs at Chai Restaurant look slim right now.