Tomorrow . . . a blog contest to win a copy of Look Me in the Eye and a night with John Sebastian and Ernie and the Automatics
My friend Charley Burke is one of the organizers of the Northampton Independent Film Festival. He invited me to the Academy of Music tonight, to hear Ernie and the Automatics and John Sebastian.
The scene backstage is timeless. Whenever I go to a place like that, I could be 18 again, standing in the dark, behind the show, watching some of my first equipment. I didn't have any equipment out on stage last night; I just took pictures. But the feelings are the same.
Ernie and the Automatics played first, then John Sebastian. John played alone, and the audience was captivated as he told us stories about his songs. He'd play a riff of some hit he heard and show how he turned it into a hit of his own. I so enjoyed his show because I too rememberd those hits and the songs that inspired them.
In the dark behind the stage, an older couple danced hand in hand while everyone else watched John, entranced. I stood at the corner of the stage and took photos. I felt self conscious because I could hear the click of my Leica shutter, quiet as it is, but I know from experience no one else in the audience heard it. When there's only one performer and a respectful crowd, the quiet parts are really quiet.
Ernie's show was much higher energy, something I'd have seen back at the Shaboo or the Rusty Nail back in the 1970s (Both clubs burned down about 1982) I've done a lot of music like that over the years, too. The Ernie in Ernie and the Automatics is Ernie Boch. He is a big supporter of music and the arts - particularly the Blues - in New England.
Here are some images from the show