Treme, Islip, NY

So for the past few weeks I’ve been sending out some tweets and some video blogs promoting our gig in Islip, NY at Treme. All this time I was making my video blogs I was pronouncing Islip as ‘Iss-lip’ when it should’ve been ‘Eye-slip’. Silly silly me. I will next research new towns to make sure I have the right pronunciation. So now it’s the day we play there and we set off out of Delaware towards Long Island, NY. We thought it might be a bit congested on the roads not just because it’s Friday but from that horrible train wreck disaster inside Philadelphia. News reports were predicting a possible dramatic uptick in vehicles on the road due to the shutting down of that heavily used train route between Washington DC and NYC. We prepared for the worse. I’m pleased to say that traffic wasn’t any heavier than normal given the fact we crossed over on the GWB, George Washington Bridge. I was pleasantly surprised and happy that we would get a few hours at our hotel to chill and recharge and practice.
We get down to the gig and it’s decorated in a dark affair with a touch of elegance to it. Since the word is the name of a neighborhood in New Orleans and a popular TV show on HBO, there is a sort of feeling in this place of New Orleans and the food on the menu reflects some New Orleans flair as well. The stage was of an odd configuration due to there being a grand piano in permanent residence there so we adjusted to the piano. Treme also is a long rectangular set-up but the stage is in the back but on the right side if you’re looking from the front door. So we had to figure out how to face down the length from a sideways orientation. That problem solved and a perfunctory sound check done we had about an hour to kill before downbeat. I changed my strings on the gold guitar, as I do every gig, (Thank You GHS Strings!), and got in my stage clothes. On this tour I’m wearing predominately collared shirts to kind of ‘up’ my image a bit. Nothing wrong with wearing a nice T-shirt with nice jeans but I so want to give off more professional appearance and at least be pleasant to look at.

Rockin' with Phil Varca, photo courtesy of Anthony Novello

Rockin’ with Phil Varca, photo courtesy of Anthony Novello

OK I know my hair is getting to be a bit unruly when I leave it down and when I play with my head down, like I do most of the time, there’s just a ‘mushroom cap’ of hair. So I’m trying to whip my hair back out of my face but I know that’s gotta be tiresome to look at over the course of 2 – 3 hours, me whipping my head back every 10 -15 seconds. I’m just in this middle phase with the hair length and it will be more manageable; we’ll all survive this. We start off with the usual 3 songs that I’ve been playing ever since ‘Lucky 13’ was released and I think I’m going to change that when this tour is done, Jump The Trane is a good opener though. I’m doing OK but my amp is way back behind me and barricaded with my amp cases to cut down on the volume but I’m having trouble hearing it. Standing right next to the drums isn’t helping my situation either. For our purposes playing soft drums does not bode well for getting our music across and John knows that so this is something I’ve got to overcome. I’d rather have someone hitting those things anyway. The crowd is a bit light but they’re there to hear us. We play our fill and I’m still trying to incorporate some new songs that I’ve written recently but I haven’t gotten the chance nor do I have them ‘gig ready’ to play them out live. I’ll keep working on them during my personal time in my room and hope I can bring them out on the road this tour.
Another good gig and another new town that we’ve played in go in the books. I hope we get to come back cuz’ I always like playing in the NYC area. We pack up and head back with our usual stop at a convenience store and then head for our nightly downtime. On to Mexicali Live tomorrow.

  • Gerard Hill

    What can I say that I haven’t said already.First off,the people that are responsible for this website have done a tremendous job.The show at Treme/Islip was great ,first because it had been a couple of years since I saw Chris,and second,I really needed to get my head banged,having been retired for three years.Excellent staff,great decor,good sound(us non musicians don’t notice the difference),and Chris Duarte.I first saw Chris after Headspin Tailwhack came out.I went to my favorite little club on the east end,The Stephen Talkhouse.,and I watched him with my mouth open the whole night.Chris came back to that club for many years and then it just stopped.I haven’t seen you out there Chris for awhile.Maybe on your way back down on the East Coast you can set up a gig in August?The man was so very impressive.I must have went five time at least,and I took my wife twice,and she is not a big guitar fan,but she absolutely loved Chris,because you know when someone is giving 100 percent.I really can’t tell you how great it was to see you and that you were still playing.I met a group of brothers and sisters that followed him from show to show in the North East.By the end of the night ,they had adopted me as another brother.Thanks so much for coming out.I missed the last set.I had a long ride,and Long Island gets a little wierd after one or two AM.Not like the old days.You were great.Love the new album.Hoping much success for the tour.I am following you along the North East and then I will take a break,but I will keep my page up as sort of a tribute for every one to look at,and then when you come back and around in August I will join the tour again with some posts on the East End.Stay cool.gerard hill

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