photo by Patrick Wötzel
whoa, I had a fabulous weekend with two outstanding gigs - Nürnberg on Friday, Würzburg on Saturday - and an alright one in Mannheim on Sunday.
On Friday I played a solo gig at a very cool venue, the community-run Casablanca movie theater in Nürnberg. For some reason, when I was approached for this gig the Casablanca was described to me as “a former movie theater”. So all along I expected a place that was maybe a little run-down. I must also admit that for some reason I expected a smallish audience.
I was wrong on both counts. The Casablanca is a wonderful movie theater run by a group of volunteers from the neighborhood (I loved seeing my name on the marquee!) and it’s a very cool venue for acoustic live music as well. And we had a decent-sized audience (for a solo show).
Very early on - I think it was in fact after the first song, might’ve been after the second one - a question from the audience regarding the need to change harmonicas sort of broke my stride. Which ended up being a good thing because I had to think on my feet and improvise a little. It’s always good for me to a) engage the audience in dialog and b) be very “in the moment” during a show.
I also got a request to do Sarah Stein which can be a hard song to do solo but I suppose I pulled it off because quite a few people asked me afterwards specifically which CD that song is on. Half the audience bought CDs which is an unheard-of percentage so I must’ve done something right. A wonderful evening.
Thanks to Black & Edda & the Casablanca team!
And the next night was even better!
I played a band gig with The Troublemakers (Felix Leitner - guitar, Chris Reiss - bass, Aggi Berger - drums) in Würzburg which I called my hometown for the last 20 years before I came to Munich half a year ago. I had heard beforehand that we’d sold quite a number of tickets in advance so I assumed that there would be a lot of old friends in the audience.
The place was sold out but maybe only ten people I knew were there. Kinda cool. It later turned out some people had driven several hundred kilometers to see us. A couple had even liked the Nürnberg gig so much they decided to come to again the next night. Very cool.
And the band sounded very very good. I think we’ve gained quite a bit of confidence in ourselves as a band in the recording process - and having wonderful pianist Andi Obieglo join us live gave us an extra push. We really had a great time making music with each other and for a most gracious audience. So: Wow! And: Thank you, people!
Here’s a video of The Troublemakers having a bit of fun with Earl Montgomery’s “Six Days On The Road” on Saturday night:
And here’s a (German) blog post by Patrick Wötzel, a Würzburg journalist who saw his first Markus Rill concert on Saturday night: http://www.woetzel-online.info/index.php?op=ViewArticle&articleId=1175&blogId=1
I certainly hope we can play some more band dates later this year to coincide with the release of the upcoming album. If you know a good place for The Troublemakers to cause some trouble near you, please let us know.
See ya, guys,