So the next time you hear about Matt Ellis and his wife, Vavine, throwing one of their Sundays at the Cinema Bar ... you should just get there. It's always a complete blast, and this past one was no different.
In these days where finding a good old dive bar is increasingly difficult, the Cinema Bar is simply a treasure. When it's packed to the rafters with all our pals from Venice and beyond, it's even better.
For a mere 8 bucks, you got four awesome bands AND a delicious burger grilled up on the back patio. The booze was extra, but it generally is ... and as Matt said, "We all had our whiskey boots on!" Yep.
The afternoon began with a rousing set (I'm told, I got there late like a loser) from our dear Lacey Cowden, who rules in so many ways I've lost count. Then you got a full orchestral throw down from The Herbert Bail Orchestra, with so many guys they barely fit in the little corner of the Cinema that is called the stage. Great tunes that kicked the day into high gear.
It's always a great opportunity to catch up with your pals too, as everyone is so busy that you rarely get to just grab a stool or picnic table bench and spin your tales over a cold one. So great, but there are conversations still to be continued, as the music was both too loud and too deserving of attention to be talking over.
Matt and his band tore it up. With scorching guitar from Josh Norton, smooth pedal steel from Tim Walker ...
... precision drumming from Fern Sanchez, heavy bass from Grant Fitzpatrick, and chill inducing trumpeting from Danny T. Levin ...
... and Matt leading the way on his acoustic guitar and vocals, they had the fun-loving crowd - wedged in and spilling outside - all the way into it for every note.
They debuted a couple of new cover songs among all the great Ellis originals we already know: "Can't Hardly Wait" by the Replacements (!!!), and "He Called Me Baby" by Candi Staton, that featured Vavine in full-throated soul diva mode. So excellent.
I looked around at all my friends and friends of friends having so much fun appreciating our mutual friends' music, and was full of gratitude for how real and fun we have it. Lucky people.
Lucky people also to catch The Ragged Jubilee, who closed out the now evening with their extra fun blues rock, that was eaten up by the now real loose room of folks digging it. Sunday afternoon rock with best friends after a Vikings win in the morning .... this was a very good day.
Shortly thereafter we split - to get doughnuts for some reason that seemed great at the time - and so the week ended, satisfied and smiling.
Today is Miss Vavine's birthday, and I wanted to say THANK YOU and LOVE YOU!!! For all the creativity, fun, music and love you bring to your life, and thus, ours. CHEERS to a new year full of ALL of that, and more!!!
Cinema Bar Sundays. See you next time, Rockers!