Rhythm and Blues
“I don’t know”. “It doesn’t make me any difference”.
“How about this rhythm and blues and seafood bar”?
“Yes ma’um, this table will be fine”
“Is it too close to the PA speakers”
“No, that will be fine. we don’t want the bar stools”
“OK, I will be back in a minute to get your order”
The bar was on a lower level of the building that had been standing since the civil war. It was refurbished in a simple manner that was to the period of its original construction. It looks like it may have been a large office or a small mercantile store. He was standing by the bar. He was of average build. Graying hair. He appeared to be about my age. Born somewhere around mid twentieth century. You would not have been able to tell him from any tourist in town. Shorts and deck shoes.
He walked over into the corner of the upper dining deck and picked up a solid black acoustic flat top guitar and positioned himself comfortably on a medium height stool. He dragged the mic stand across the floor with a scratch and a thud. He did not apologize. He started playing. “Kansas City” and stuff like that. I think he threw in several Johnny Rivers numbers. Truthfully, I can’t give you a list of all he sang. All familiar. None great.
The food was good. We continued to sit and listen even after we had had our fill. It was easy to correlate the music with things that had happened in the past. To me at least, that is what music is half about. You hear it the first time and later you hear it, it reminds you of the first time you heard it.
“Are you ready to go”?
A couple of steps away from the table, I stopped and turned around. I walked over to where Mr. Guitar picker was still perched on his stool. I stuck a twenty dollar bill down into the empty beer mug to keep the two singles and loose change company. He looked up and smiled and nodded as if to say “thanks”. I recognized the look that he knew that I knew what a “slow” night was. I nodded and said “good show”.
She was already waiting in the warm night outside on the sidewalk.
“Let’s just walk around and look at a few of these old buildings. I feel much better now”.
I draped my arm around her shoulders and we started up the street. I looked back through the window inside, noticing the rhythm OF the blues. He didn’t notice. I smiled as we walked away.