Sugar Bar is best known for it's amazing Thursday Open Mic night, but last night they added a new Blue's Night. I had to be there for the first one, and luckily had my chance to perform. I chose my song Easy Come Easy Go and what an honor to have Valerie Simpson join me on the keys. Such a treat. As I wandered down to the stage, Chester Gregory the fantastic singer Broadway whizkid, (he plays the amazing James "Thunder" Early in the touring production of Dreamgirls) was in the audience with Lillias White-a must see in Fela on Broadway, he took my camera and filmed me. Double treat.
NYC Subway Girl Cathy Grier performs Comin' Back To Me.
My experience performing for The Battle Of The Boroughs, was actually quite surreal, I never expected such an amazing in the pocket response from the audience. Maybe I have been performing underground too much! I went on about 5th in line which was perfect. My Sugar Bar open mic warm up of the night before was more than I could have hoped for too, as it got me in the mood of performing on a stage with lights and an audience. Thanks to Kathy Jordan Sharpton for her huge encouragement (I had met her one night at the Apollo Theatre).
At the Sugar Bar, I waited my turn with an amazing gentleman who gave me some amazing tips, one being a question, "what's the first thing you should be thinking about as you walk onto a stage?" answer "Once Upon A Time." Wow, what a perfect truth and tip. His name Kent Drake, my new Sugar Bar mentor, "you've got a story to tell, well tell it!" So as I walked onto the stage at the Greene Space I thought....Once Upon A Time, and I "told" my story=song 'Comin' Back To Me', the audience joined in at the end, made great encouraging sounds as I sang a certain line and basically made me so buzzed.
I didn't really give justice to Terrance McKnight's interview, I made some lame response to his compliment of how I learned to play the slide. Commentators Leital Molad Senior Producer Studio 360 and Helga Davis WQXR host, gave me great thumbs up in my performance and song choice. Helga wondered how I was able to keep my vocal chops so clear because of the brutal subway conditions not so kind to singing. Wish I had more time to answer that one too, but alas my time was up.