Wednesday is “open mic night” at Bayou Bistro, where anyone can hop onstage and play for the patrons. Since there’s no guarantee that anyone will bring an instrument, most open mic nights feature a “house band,” which in Bayou Bistro’s case is the Tropical Sons.
While Bayou Bistro is a short drive away for most of the other band members, it’s a fifty- to eighty-minute drive for Yours Truly, depending on the traffic. I can’t do it every Wednesday, but I try to play when I can.
Bayou Bistro is a charming down-home bar. If you drive past it, you might not even realize that it’s a bar — it’s hidden away by the water, and you could easily mistake it for a fishing shack. But it is indeed a bar, with friendly staff, and sandwiches that don’t disappoint (I’m fond of their mahi mahi, shrimp, and banh mi sandwiches).
As you might expect, a band called the “Tropical Sons” has a sort of uniform, and in our case, it’s aloha shirt and shorts with optional hat. For last night’s gig, I went with my “Disney Polynesian” shirt, which is one of my favorites. It’s a gift from my friends Natalie and Eldon, who somehow found it at a market in Ottawa:
We played from about 5:15 until 8:30, with a break to get a bite in the middle. Here’s what my view looked like at the start of the gig…
…and here’s what the audience saw:
This is the “accordion’s eye view:”
When we took our break, Mary took the stage:
She attended the gig to catch our act and collect the ukulele she won at the raffle for Tampa Bay Ukulele Day, which took place last Sunday in Dunedin.
She played a number of amusing songs, including one called Pink Flamingos, the unofficial symbol of Cheektowaga and other towns in the Buffalo area. As a long-time resident of Toronto, I got the reference.
A short while after, we started our second set, also known as the “Sunset Set.”
And we played on into the night, wrapping up around 8:30 (Bayou Bistro closes at 9).
Once again, a fun gig! I’m going to be busy for the next couple of weeks, so it may be a little while before I get a chance to play at Bayou Bistro again.