Tag Archives: the pit stop

LIVE: Lydia Fischer & Erich Luening

Thursday night Songwriter’s Series at The Pit Stop

Since the Spring, I’ve worked with more than 20 artists to coordinate just about 10 shows at The Pit Stop. Last Thursday, 10 people stopped by to see a seasoned local and his Boston-based friend who made the trek to open the show. Three Thursdays ago, there were¬†maybe 15 in attendance. Last night, 35 folks came out to support the two island artists who performed.

I can dutifully keep a record of the shows and tally the number of people who come through the door each night, but what isn’t easily measured is the amount of experience I’ve gained. Not to mention the seemingly limitless creative energy and raw talent that I’ve witnessed every week. I’m very thankful to be a part of the small team that keeps The Pit Stop in existence. And so happy to have facilitated the transfer of music from artist to audience.

To start us off last night, Lydia Fischer took the mic and expressed emotions that we’ve all felt in ways that most of us just don’t know how to express. Lydia’s one-of-a-kind voice, charming stage presence, and percussive guitar-playing are so engaging, but what makes Lydia really superb is her songwriting.

Erich Luening followed suit with beautifully written words about life and hope and family. While some of the audience filtered out, some folks were just arriving during the 10 minute break before Erich began his set. His sister Sabrina joined him for several tunes (both old and brand new), and the late night crowd was treated to two of the most soulful and real voices on the island.

~~~

“Rock Song”

One of my favorite moments of the night was Lydia’s rendition of a song she wrote with her friend Julie Perry, who was in the audience. It was an engaging, catchy, immaculately-written tune about lovers parting ways. After the frenzy of applause that followed, Lydia laughed as she said to Julie – “Did we even know what we were talking about? We were in high school!”

This year, Lydia graduated from Berklee School Of Music in Boston. I cannot wait to hear more.

Lydia Fischer
Erich Luening

The Pit Stop

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LOCAL: The Pit Stop

Songwriter’s Night

For the past several months, I’ve been helping out a struggling little room on the Vineyard called The Pit Stop. Once a tire shop, this building is now an 85 capacity listening venue where people like me can put on shows. For the past few weeks, I’ve helped my friend AK book and promote”Songwriter’s Night” on Thursdays. I’ve not had much experience doing this sort of thing, but oh boy, what an experience it has been!

Between location, competition, and lack of any marketing budget, The Pit has not seen too many crowded shows over the summer. We had hopes that September would bring the locals out of the woodwork, but last night, over an hour after “doors” at 8pm, the count on the audience was actually zero. The owner, myself, and the four musicians who showed up to play stood in a circle and talked, kept things light, despite certain disappointment. Rick O’Gorman, a long time Vineyard folk singer who was a last minute addition to the bill said, “I’ll play for you guys, I don’t care”. And play for us he did – old folk songs and originals about love and life, all fingerpicked and sung in a warm, soft, comforting voice.

Slowly, a few people trickled in and sat to enjoy the music. Some came specifically for Phil daRosa, so he jumped up after Rick. Another local, Alex Karalekas, followed with a song or two and then our visiting songwriter Seamus Galligan got on stage. Seamus is currently living in the New Bedford area, and he was previously performing in a duo with Ellie Cowan. He told us a bit nervously that he hadn’t played solo ever before. He proceeded to kill it, with beautifully written, thoughtful tunes and a simply angelic voice.

As we sat to hear the last of the planned performances, none other than the Vineyard’s own Brad Tucker literally did a duck and roll into the room. Never one to be shy (and admittedly a few drinks into his night), Brad got up and played a few songs. He was joined by Rick and then he accompanied Alex, for one of the best versions of “Broken Tree” I’ve heard in a while (if you’ve seen AK play, you know what song I mean). At this point in the evening, the “crowd” had shrank to about two people, but Brad grabbed a stand up bass and accompanied Phil for a few funkier tunes.

All told, about 19 people ended up coming out. And of course those who did show up were treated to something quite unique. Something you can feel in your bones. Something that certainly isn’t happening on Circuit Avenue. Something that people say they want on this island, but don’t seem to have the energy, time, or money to support. I keep wanting to call The Pit Stop a magical place…but it sounds a bit cheesy. Magic does happen there though. And I think anyone who’s been to a recent musical performance (and especially those who were in attendance for The Ape Woman rock opera last week) would agree.

Next Thursday we’ve got two well known Cape musicians playing for us – Will Evans of Barefoot Truth and John Beninghof of The Old Silver Band. Come to the show and see what I mean. Last night Brad Tucker admonished the audience, urging them to DO SOMETHING to help keep this room alive. Beyond needing people to fill the seats, we need volunteers, we need ideas, we need donations, we need positive energy. We need the word to be spread! And there are very easy ways you can help with that last part, right now:

SIGN UP for the newsletter
LIKE US on Facebook
and then SHARE our page!
CHECK OUT our website

Want to get involved? Got an idea? Contact us!
thepitstopworkshop@gmail.com
508 693 4219
facebook.com/pitstopworkshop


As we’ve been saying since the start – Viva La Pit Stop!

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Song Of The Day

Cibo Matto – “Sugar Water”

I knew nothing about Cibo Matto when I first heard this song and saw this video. Hell, I still don’t know much about them. I know they’re a Japanese duo that formed in NYC in the mid 90s and they first started writing songs about food (Cibo Matto means ‘crazy food’ in Italian). They broke up in 2001, and it looks like they did a reunion tour last year. I may have never heard of them if not for the fact that Michel Gondry directed one of their music videos. I own a DVD of Gondry’s work…short films and mostly music videos he directed. His work is out there…and pretty visually incredible. My mind is especially blown by the Cibo Matto video for “Sugar Water”:

I’ll be playing some Michel Gondry directed music videos tonight at The Pit Stop in Oak Bluffs for their film night…and the feature film will be a documentary about Feist called “Look At What The Light Did Now”

THE PIT STOP FILM NIGHT TONIGHT STARTS AT 7:30PM, hope to see you there!

Cibo Matto
Michel Gondry

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