One Amazing Night in New York with Jackie, Melody, and Holly, 5/23/06

Any one of these three performances would have been worth the trip from Philadelphia to New York, but catching all three in one night was almost more musical joy than a person should be allowed to have. Let me start by thanking Dave for the last minute invite to take the place of someone who couldn't go to see Jackie Allen at Joe's Pub. That plan wasn't in place more than a few hours before word came via MySpace that Holly Palmer had scheduled a date at Arlene's Grocery the same night.

Only a pleasant New York walk separates the Lafayette Street location of Joe's Pub from the Lower East Side neighborhood that's home to Arlene's Grocery and the Living Room among others. The 7:30/9:30 timing seemed to make possible the doubleheader of shows; that we also got to see Melody Gardot play at Pianos involved a combination of serendipity, timing and logistics that likely could only happen in nyc.

After strategically parking the car near Arlene's Grocery, we had a little time to walk the neighborhood, enjoying the absolutely perfect weather (not unlike the last time I saw Melody at WCL). We wound up stopping for a drink at a bar/club called Pianos, located almost next door to the Living Room. The $5.00 happy hour burger special was calling so while we were sitting at the bar waiting for the food, I just happened to notice a sign on the wall saying that Melody Gardot was scheduled to play that night in the upstairs room.

Although initially it didn't seem like this could possibly fit into the schedule, when we walked back from Joe's Pub after the Jackie Allen show, we decided just to pop in to see if Melody was playing. As it happened she had just gone on, so we sat down for her set. After she finished, we got up to leave, it being already long past the start time for Holly's set, but Melody came back to perform 3 more "cross pollination" songs with Seth Kallen who had also played earlier, and she was having none of us leaving. So we sat back down, enjoyed the cross-pollination set and had a nice conversation with Melody after; she's such a sweetheart.

Then we hoofed it over to Arlene's Grocery where Holly had just gone onstage and was only just starting her second song. It was more than great to see and talk to Holly again, it being about a year and a half since her last east coast appearance. Seeing three very different but all truly amazing performers all in a space of about four hours was just a total slice of New York heaven. Will post the pictures, descriptions, and accounts of each show soon.


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