You never really expect much out of a Thursday night. But when you mix the atmosphere of downtown Manhattan and the phenomenal food and drink of City Winery, not to mention the singing, songwriting and storytelling of Al Stewart, you have the perfect setting for a night to remember. Joe had the privilege of not only playing in one of the hottest venues in New York City, but also to meet and open for Stewart -- the legend who brought us 'Year of the Cat' and 'Time Passages' to name only a few.
Joe, along with Deanna Murray, were given a 30 minute set in which they performed 'Moving With You,' 'Learning to Fly,' 'Mary,' 'Mad July' and 'Waiting for the Birds To Fly.' Were very well received -- and dare we say -- fully enjoyed -- by the audience. Michael Dorf, owner of City Winery also mentioned to Joe how much he enjoyed the opening set, making his way to backstage right after Joe's set ended. Mr. Dorf, who is a prominent member of the NYC music scene, specifically called out Joe and Deanna's voice mix and how the sound 'filled the room' beautifully.
After meeting, greeting and settling into the audience, Joe and Deanna had the chance to listen to one of the greatest entertainers -- through song and story -- beguile an audience mesmerized by memories of songs past performed by Al Stewart and his amazing guitarist, David Nachmanoff. While Al is a fantastic guitar player in his own right, he often allowed Nachmanoff center guitar stage to demonstrate creative guitar leads, unforgettable rhythms and unsurpassed musical personality. Dave and Al together on the same stage are amazing to behold.
After playing two amazing sets, Al ended his second with 'Year of the Cat.' But of course, the crowd wanted more ... Al and Dave returned for an encore where they performed 'Road to Moscow' (one of Joe's favorite Al Stewart songs)to a very receptive, appreciative crowd -- awarding the performers a standing ovation.
And while the evening was over for the New Yorkers who had to get up the following day for work, the musicians -- including Joe (who also had to drive back to DC that same night) -- had to tear down and load up. But before all of this, a quick meet in the City Winery green room, awarded Joe a grand privilege. Al Stewart himself told Joe how much he enjoyed listening to Joe's music AND asked him to come to Al's Sunday gig in Annapolis, Maryland at Ram's Head Live to perform a few opening songs ... WOW ... the legend -- who inspired Joe as a young musician -- is now a Rathbone fan ... now how cool is that.