by Dave Fry
One of the subtle joys of presenting so many great people on Godfrey’s stage is the respect the club gets from first-time performers. Many acknowledge that respect with the audience during the show, some mention it downstairs in the green room or to our techs during the sound check. Some blog about it (Chip Taylor’s follows…) and some pass it on out on the larger folk circuit (John Gorka sings about it at every show). Some even say they can feel the aura of past legendary performers in the walls (and, no, it’s not the brown paint). There is something special about this room (and our audience and artists), from the touring pros to our open mikers; they sense it on a visceral level and it’s really nice to hear about this magic from the folks playing our venue for the first time.
The following is taken directly from Chip Taylor’s Road Journal.
JUNE 12, 2015 – BETHLEHEM PA – VENUE – GODFREY DANIELS
This was as bad a traffic day as I can remember. John Platania started in the Woodstock area at noon .. it was after 3:30PM (an hour later than expected) when he picked me up in New York City for our drive to Bethlehem. The drive from NY to Bethlehem would normally take about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Today it took over 3:00 hours.
We got there 40 minutes from show time.. in time to say hello to the kind host Ramona, get a feel of the total living room atmosphere of the venue and sound check with our new friend & fan, Lou. Great job Lou!
It’s a one-of-a-kind sound system, with the monitors overhead and recessed 5 feet or so from the stage .. they sort of become part of the stage as well. But John & I liked the sound Lou was giving us right away. And that short sound check enabled John & I to get a quick bite to eat before hitting the stage at 8:00 where a friendly and warm group of kind folks awaited us.
THE SHOW [FIRST SET]
John Platania is revered in this area. He was brilliant again tonight! These songs don’t have a planned direction … they go wherever the spirit of John & I take them … and this show was as inspired in that manner as ever. Great John!
We started again with The Yonkers Story. And as I told the story about growing up with my brothers in our little bedroom with the Motorola radio in the hallway, somehow I felt more back there than ever. Read more about the show…
[ANOTHER THOUGHT ABOUT THE SHOW]
One of the major stars of the show tonight was Godfrey Daniels … the club itself. And the way it embraces all stuff real. Like it did tonight with the heroes of this night … Phil Sinclair, a record store owner in Belfast back in the 70s and his music loving friends.. who would not stand for anything but THE REAL THING and kindness and understanding for those on opposite sides of the political fence back then … and legendary and loved DJ from northern Ireland, Gerry Anderson, who, during that same period of time met the challenges of “the troubles” by doing something about it … changing the name of Londonderry or Derry (depending on the side of the fence you were on) to STROKE CITY. Again, helping folks on both sides of the issue to drop their swords.
Few clubs have the silent power to host those type issues … Godfrey Daniels has no choice … it IS that place. From the minute Fred Boenig stepped on stage to introduce us, Fred, known to some as heroic local DJ “Chance Austin”, who had one son killed and three others currently fighting in Afghanistan … was fresh back from Washington challenging issues of our “boots on the ground” platforms … looking and demanding wider support from countries close to the conflicts – I knew where this show was heading.
This show was all about passion … the passion of music and the courage to speak true words from a deeper place! from those who fought with the passion of true rock & roll to bring down the white controlled radio frontier of the 40s and 50s.. to those like my Dad … a humble golf pro who led the charge to strike down the PGA’s Caucasian clause and allow folks of color to become PGA members and play in events sponsored by the PGA.
THIS WAS A NIGHT I WON’T FORGET!
HI & THANKS:
Hi Ramona … great to be here! … thanks for inviting us. So nice to hear you and your husband’s connection to “7 Days..” I’ll remember that for next time … and volunteers Jack & Lou … thanks for all you do & the kind words … from LAST CHANCE forward … great meeting you! And Lou … perfect sound! … THANKS FOR THAT! … and thanks Todd … hope to see you all again.
This was a special one … hope to do it again before too long.
Read more about Chip Taylor and other Train Wreck Records artists.