Last Tuesday I forewent my usual trip to F.E. Pop’s to take an end-of-summer trip to Benjamin’s Bakery in Surfside Beach, South Carolina to play their new open mic night. My girl lives down that way, and she’d never seen me play live before (although I send her videos of my pianistic noodling on a regular basis), so we decided to take advantage of this opportunity for her to hear me play a few tunes. It was a fun evening, and a great opportunity to meet some new musicians in a different town.
Unfortunately, my girl was so enraptured watching me perform (and a little girl grabbed her attention for about half of my mini-set), she didn’t take any video of my powerful coffee shop crooning. That performance is now lost to the mists of time (although I will always remember it; I hope she does, too!).
John and I have been playing together at open mics, on gigs, and at church for a decade, and we’ve built up a pretty good repertoire of tunes. John surprised me a year or so back when he pulled out this classic from KISS’s criminally underappreciated Creatures of the Night (1982) album, which I consider one of the best KISS albums out there.
The song is “I Still Love You,” a six-minute power ballad (of sorts) in 6/8 time. I’m a sucker for 6/8, and I’ve always liked this song in part because of its time signature. I also appreciate the use of dynamic contrast in the piece, as it builds slowly over the course of six minutes. There’s some impressive drumming, too, that enhances the energy and forward motion later in the piece.
John and I are just a guitarist (twelve-string!) and a keyboardist, respectively, so we can’t quite do the song the same way KISS does, but we do a pretty good job. John really hams it up on the sustained vocal part, doing his best Paul Stanley:
How did we stack up to the boys in the makeup? Let me know in the comments!
Other Editions of Open Mic Adventures: