It seems to be the case that I have booked my first gig here in Maine that isn't at a senior home. I adore playing at senior homes, but I'm excited to play in a more nighttime/club/barroom/loungy environment. The haute establishment that was lucky enough to book me is Westbrook's Frog & Turtle, a very tasty gastro pub around the corner from my Main Street studio. When I was maybe ten years old my cousin Jackie and I would scrape our money together and eat lunch at a corner booth there - back then it was the Cornerstone Cafe and we could get clam cakes and french fries if we were living rich and grilled tunafish sandwiches otherwise. They still have booths there, but also nice tables with little candles flickering and fresh flowers, a great bar, and (my sister and I can vouch for this as of last Thursday night) yummy fried calamari.
If I can believe a very brief email exchange I had with James, the dedicated chef and owner of F&T, then I get to play there on Thursday night, August 28.
Here's where I need your help though.
First: What do I call myself? Just Bess Berg? Bess and the 88 Degrees of Freedom? Since I'm playing (and singing) solo I thought Lonely Woman Lounge Act had a nice ring to it. Please send suggestions, both reasonable and off-the-wall, my way.
Second: What do I play? I'll have a good core inspired by Nina Simone, Ray Charles, Hank Williams and Fats Domino... but I think for this gig I need a little less Moon River and a little more whiskey-scented Tom Waits. I also want to include a few goofy (but awesome) covers - maybe a lounge version of a Justin Timberlake song (Mirrors?), or the mashup I've been wanting to do of Madonna's "Like a Prayer" with Imagine Dragons' song "Demons". I'm also going to sneak in some of my own stuff: My Money, Alligator Shoes, Starling Blackbird, maybe even the Boneyard Tango, depending on what I can get ready. So send ideas my way: What do you want to hear as you sip your cold microbrew and wait for your fried calamari to come out?
Come on out August 28 if you can! Your first beer is on me. (Unless more than two people come.)