Detroit, MI

Detroit was wonderful because Detroit audiences are always wonderful.
And because Phil Perry was wonderful.
And because Rachelle Ferrell was wonderful.
And because the Detroit Opera House is wonderful (1st time for me).

The Opera House was buzzing with excitement starting early afternoon at soundcheck—Technical staff and house crew and musicians and friends all on steroids at Christmas time.

When I ran into Phil that afternoon in the lobby, between handshakes and hugs, he said, “Al, I’m gonna sing to tracks tonight. I can’t afford my band, but I had to be here and do this eve with you and Rachelle here in Detroit.” I hugged him hard and said God Bless You Phil. I’m ready to do the same thing tomorrow. Promoters are struggling to stay in business and keep bringing music to the people. And yet, I’m fighting to keep my band intact, too.

He wore it out tonight with only tracks because he’s a great singer and consummate pro. With a sense of purpose and humor. I’d like to study voice with Phil.

I was backstage in the hallway and Rachelle peeked her head out of her dressing room and gave me that fabulous Rachelle grin and smile that goes from earlobe to earlobe with a kiddish giggle, and in a flash, memories of past times came bubbling and cascading, and before we could really consider what we were agreeing to, we had decided, yes, let’s sing together—“Call me out,” I said. “I’ll be there waiting on the side.”

As I waited and watched, I was saying to myself—Prodigy, genius, off the map, off the scale and chart. Rachelle’s highs boggle the mind and excite sympathetic overtones in the construction of the building that ring and vibrate on their own. Genius and Prodigy! No one, no vocalist, is working in this realm. Maybe a few instrumentalists in the past.

So I crossed the stage and we went popping and clicking into a vocal percussive exchange. Anything would be OK now. Here we were bouncing along and sharing the moment, two crazies from the same mold, in Detroit in the middle of Christmastime, performing never-rehearsed music. Beautiful!

It was a long exciting day, and we gave ‘em some more and they loved it there at the opera house. Thank you, Detroit, and Phil, and Rachelle, and Opera House.

Love, Al.

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