Steve Madewell

Pedestrian Ramblings

Last night 4/16/09 I had a really nice time at the Barking Spider. I got there with plenty of time only to discover a full band was wailing away when I got there. As I brought my guitars in a friendly smile and a “Hi Steve” from one of the fine ladies who work there greeted me. At first I thought the band was Case students who had scored a pick up gig, but after a few minutes I realized who ever they were, these guys were hot. Sort of a jacked up James Brown funk with a wailing guitar player. Actually they were a Brooklyn band called Mercury Landing and they were on the road to Chicago, and they happened to pick up an early gig at the Spider. They cleared the stage in plenty of time and as I was setting up, I was told that Billy Lestock had been in earlier in the day and cleaned up the PA and replaced all the questionable mic Cables. As I got under way, a number of folks came filtering in, some who read my emails and others who caught a mention of the evening from Jim Blum’s WKSU show, and still others who watch the Barking Spiders’ web page. Several singer/song writers showed up Mark Freeman, Hank Mallory, Ron Chessler, Banjo Dave from the Silver String Band, and Dan from the Swamp Rattlers, Billy Lestock and a bunch of other good friends. When I got done, most everyone hung around a listened to Hillbilly Idol, who even without Paul sounded great. On the way home I started thinking about what a cool thing it is to have a community of like individuals and that is one of the wonderful things about the Barking Spider. The Barking Spider doesn’t pay musicians, they pass the proverbial hat. But a gig at the spider isn’t really about the money. It is great to have a place in town where a band on the way to Chicago can stop and catch a pickup gig. Where someone comes in on their own and fixes up the PA. Where you can go an try out some new songs and there will always be someone there to give a listen. Playing at the Spider is a way to support that sense of community that exists among people who enjoy and want to keep live music alive. It these really difficult and uncertain times, it will be community that will get us through, and I would like to think last night maybe, just maybe I made a small contribution to a community too.