Tuesday, September 29, 2009

in verse.

No, I won't be writing this post in verse, but the subject will largely be upon that of verse--I'm sure none of you needed that clarification but look, I've gone and given it anyway.
This past weekend managed to be quite lovely in spite of the fact that I worked Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Jeremy and I made the trek to Hickory on Friday night through torrential rain to see a show at Drip's, which incidentally was my favorite teenage hangout which was since closed, then reopened under the same name though instead of being a coffee shop with occasional shows and open mic nights, is now a venue that happens to have a full espresso bar. Anyway, yet another needless clarification that I'm leaving in anyway. We arrived into Hickory a bit early so we could make a stop at our favorite public house, The Olde Hickory Taproom--Jeremy got a Scottish Ale and an Oktoberfest Seasonal beer while I got a Black Velvet (half hard cider, half Guinness). It was great to be there again, and all three of my favorite bartenders were working, which is always nice. After filling up on good beer and pub chips, we walked over to Drip's to await the start of the show. The opener, Ian Thomas, was a bit late so the start was pushed back a bit, but once he got there and everything started it was great. Ian was a folksy, bluesy, americana-esque singer, and his stuff was a lot of fun--full of guitar, harmonica, and kazoo, yes, kazoo.
Adrian Rice, Irish poet, went on next to reveal some of his newly written Hickory Haiku, that were absolutely brilliant. I've recently started reading his poetry again, since I've started to understand and appreciate poetry for this first time in my life. Let me tell you, he is phenomenal. I've known he was good, but reading poem after poem cleverly crafted and evocative in each its own way is a screaming testament to his singular talent. I feel honored to call him friend and inspiration to my own poetic aspirations. I was able to sit with him and his lovely wife Molly, and of course Peanut, to whom I look forward to meeting in person in March. It was wonderful to be able to sit with them, and catch up and just see their faces and hear their voices--it had been entirely too long. I look forward to catching up with them again soon, over Guinness and hot Irish stew.
After Adrian, the headliner, Alyn Mearns took the stage with his guitar. Beginning with his own rendition of David Bowie's Nature Boy which was merely the beginning of a beautifully poetic collage of verse and chords. One song in particular stuck with me, the words based on Napoleon's love letters to Josephine, a woman he never could conquer as all the land under his thumb. His whole set was just brilliant, and so unique. During one song, he used a wine glass to distort the sound of his guitar, sliding it up and down the strings. A tremendous talent, and a humble one too, which makes it all the better. His family, wife and kids, were all there too, which I always think is so neat to see. I was able to get a photograph of his son in the foreground with Alyn in the back, on stage, playing--I think it's a poignant shot.
Anyway, it was a great weekend, and so great to see Molly and Adrian, even with the news that my poem and short story were somehow never entered into the contest I sent them too. I've gotten over it now, and am just glad that I had to opportunity to witness such great talent in verse and music, and I hope I'll able to get Alyn and The Belfast Boys up here to Black Mountain to play at the White Horse sometime soon. I'm hoping to continue my education in poetry and shape my own poetic hand as well. Thanks for a great weekend.




Chelsea Talks Smack said...

Just found your blog and wanted to come by and say HI!

Danielle said...

I saw Ian Thomas in Hickory a while ago, and he opened for Carolina Chocolate Drops Friday night in Asheville. He's a very nice man, and musician. It's amazing to me how people can began as buskers in New York and end up touring, and in places like Hickory coffee shops we all loved in high school. Hope things continue to go well for you, miss Caitlin :)