The Talking Stick in Venice , CA. – (Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 from 8-10PM.)  When I host a show I usually like to be the opening act, so I can relax after I sing and watch the guests.  There was a nice crowd at the Stick by the time we started.  Even my brother, Dutch Newman and the lovely San Francisco Songbird, Mikal Sandoval were there.  My band tonight was Gene Lippmann, Lorie Doswell, John Cartwright on bass and Doug Knoll on drums.  We started with “Night Blooming Jasmine” because the young lady working the counter was named Jasmine.  We did “I Can Be Bad,” “I Just See You,” “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” (my carpool song), “Table Nine” and several others.  Do you feel like you were there now?  We did about 45 minutes.
Then I introduced Rob Laufer who brought along Carl Sealove to play bass for him.  It was wonderful.  The thing I love best about Rob is how free he is on stage… and the variety of his rhythms and songs.   I can’t compare him to anyone but you can hear him and see videos of him here:  https://www.myspace.com/roblaufer.  It’s well worth a visit.  He’s a rocker and sort of Beatley, and just so interesting and skilled.  There was a nice crowd there just to see him … they came for my show too, and stayed ‘til the end.  We players appreciate that so much.  Go read about Rob there on MySpace.  He’s had a pretty interesting career.  I love him.
After Rob was another singer/songwriter I love, but you all know that.  Shaun Cromwell dazzled everyone like he always does.  I should have stopped everything after I left TV writing five years ago, and just managed Shaun.  I think he’s brilliant.  www.shauncromwell.com.  I love the song “The Rise and the Fall of it All.”  I love “Three Deaths.”  I love “Working Title.”  And for those of you who may have seen Shaun in one of my shows like… maybe two years ago, and complained that you loved his guitar work but you couldn’t understand his words… he’s pretty clear now.  Not perfect yet, but you can really understand most of what he’s singing.  And as it turns out, he’s also a great songwriter.  I love playing shows with Shaun.  Oh, my god, I’m turning into a middle-aged groupie.
My next gig at the Talking Stick will be probably be Thursday, March 11.  Mark your calendars.
Respectfully submitted, Tracy Newman, Jan 15, 2010, 10:25AM.