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Vance’sAcousticPajamaParty #186 - SANS AGENDAH


When: Monday nite 12/11 7:30pm ET


Who gets 10%+: - Casa Myrna is Boston’s largest provider of domestic violence awareness efforts and of shelter and supportive services to survivors.

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VanceFunder P.O. Box 17, Arlington, MA 02476.
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January shows are below

Yeah, that’s me & Darrell Scott, photo by Angela Scott



So it went like this (it’s a long one - buckle up)

A sold out show, a Vance show. Not strictly country, no, but acoustic, different maybe than what the folks that clamor to buy the 3-minute sellout Bluebird tix might expect. They’re at the Bluebird.

The three women from Utah loved it.
The waitperson's aunt and uncle loved it.
The table that included my best friend from college, his wife, their wheelchaired daughter with CP, Maria, who I mercilessly tease as she squeals along with Uncle Vance's songs - yeah, she’s my Goddaughter - loved it.
The other 86 people that get used to then expect her to squeal and just barely understandably croon with me loved it.
The old promoter friend loved it, the young Berklee grad that sang on my last 2 albums loved it.

“I’m so glad to be here!”
I thank doorstaff, waitstaff, sound person, management, each by name.
"The Bluebird has to have a Black performer once inna while to get that State arts money...”

I continue. It's such a Vance show. Pie & Whiskey. Pluto. Hand Back The Keys. More banter.

“You and I are the only chips in this cookie”, I say to a young light-skinned Black woman right at the footlights - smack dab front at a live show, sitting next to a White guy boyfriend/husband. “I see you’ve brought your Dad, good on you!”

“Well that joke has never been used before”, she banters back. Touche. Fin.

I move on to the couple behind them. He’s a very light-brown man, she’s White. “Why, I think between all of us we might have a solid one-and-one-third Black people in this room. OMG I feel so much safer...” That couple cracks up. The room cracks up. My race thing. Soon will come Black Rochelle. Old White Men.

I bring you in. Poke you. Hug you. Shine the light. It’s a Vance show, country venue or not. I see Kris Kristofferson’s pic on the back wall. I dedicate “For The Goodtimes” to him. I do Randy Newman's “Marie” for my goddaughter, extending the song’s name to “Maria" in tribute. I see the waitperson hand out a few people napkins as she passes. I see napkins used for eye dabbing.

End of night is a 3/4 room standing O. I do an acapella Al Jarreau's “Could You Believe” without the mic.
I never noticed that the couple in the front had left like 2 songs after our back-and forth.

Two of my folks that saw them from the front say it looked like they'd had a fight. She was in tears. He'd apparently left the table, found the manager, told her to tell me how insulted and hurt they were, on their anniversary no less, asked for and got his money back, went back to their table, gathered his partner, and left.

I was told about the whole thing as I was getting paid. I was in shock. Replaying it over and over in my mind, like a reel. I apologized up and down as I also defended my work, finally saying to the manager/C.O.O. after quite a while of spinning, “Well I hope that doesn’t bust my chances of coming back”. She looked away and just shrugged.

That broke me.

Theories from some that were present and those that weren’t are rampant amongst my peeps.
That he was doing the "Will Smith Defend Your Woman At All Costs” thing, sans slap.
That it was the age comment and not the race comment that skinned him.
Some say maybe it was both, such interaction not expected at a country music show.
Some say maybe it was being singled out at all.
Some say it was an act of power and privilege.
Some say in light of that last thing that they are actually concerned for her welfare.
Some say that it was dry powder just waiting for a spark, any spark.
Some said "For $40 you could just leave and say it wasn’t your taste."

I own what I said. I’m sorry for how it landed. I still can’t bring myself to be sorry for having said any of it. And maybe now I never play there again because someone at the very front table sees words and sticks and stones and bones as all the same depending on their house’s order.

All I know is that for 2 - $20 covers, this guy made sure at least 2, maybe 3 people understood his indignation, left unhappy, and saw that his bone-dry tinder remains ready to ignite by anything, even some sparky-warm silly back and forth.

12 hours later I was at Darrell Scott’s country house (look him up - he’s famous - written a mess of country stuff that you already know). We didn’t play a lick of guitar. We just hung with wives, parents, 3 dogs, cows, 2 bulls, goats, conversation, sheep, food, an angry wild boar that keeps digging up a field, 2 gates to get in and out, no cell service. I spent the night being guarded by an orange herding dog with green and blue eyes that slept 3 feet from my bed and licked my hand goodbye when I left at 5:25 the next morning.

I don’t need a gig for Nashville to be mine.