Charlotte — Sweet Charlotte

I loved it….. A lot! Whenever I’m here I have to resist being a boring old Uncle Al: “Now don’t y’all get up-airs-citified! Stay Charlotte.” I am talking up to you! You’ve got what we somehow lost and need to revive: Simple, sincere human respect for everyone you meet. “Good mornin’”… “Thank you” … “Yes, please” … “Yes, Ma’am” … “Of course I will” … “Y’all’re welcome anytime” … And friendly and smiling.

You brought all this to Knight Theatre Uptown PAC as well-equipped and comfortable as any in the world… And African-Americans leading the way. I was so proud. Thank you.

(You shoulda been at soundcheck. It was in the air; delighted anticipation of returning to and playing in a very typical kind of performing situation for the band, for all of us! Larry was all over the grand piano. I know he could hear himself again. And it seemed to me he felt it more strongly than most times, that special space, designed expressly for him, that follows some really loud action by the band. … Beautiful acoustic virtuoso. They clapped loud and long. John Calderon’s acoustic moment also happened this evening. It didn’t yesterday. And he soared like an eagle, too. And they clapped loud and long, and the really felt it, huge smile.

And so it went and continued. Mark really painted again tonight, showing the art of drums. Oils and watercolors, mallets and brushes, and funk for your Bootsie/George Clinton booty! Hello! Chris Walker, with my mother’s last name, came with his superstar voice and bass playing, and did nuances of inspiration for me and the rest of the band, and thrilling for the audience.

“Almost done, y’all!” I’m reminding me to be grateful for it all! Sometimes, you struggle. But you survive, often beautifully, then the doorway opens up into a sunlit profusion of flowerings made more poignant because of the struggle. Joe Turano plays his butt off every night—Three saxes, keyboards, and sings, too. But last night, Joe played a solo that lit up heaven, and shook my table on the stage. Remind me to talk to you about an instrument called “The Essential.” It’s played by the audience. We’re outta here.

I am happy, thank you.


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