Saturday, February 04, 2012

Sarah and Robin, disco and funk

Sure as you're born, I never thought I'd ever hear Robinella sing disco.

Pull up a chair and let me tell you what happened. This has truly been the week from you-know-where. Also, yesterday was a kinetic but chaotic deadline day. So when I finally left the office just before 6, I knew both Jenn and I needed a break.

By happenstance, my buddy Mike Finn had invited us to Wild Wing Cafe to hear what we thought was going to be a night with Justin Haynes and Sarah Clapp. Justin is a well-known local pianist. Sarah is a super singer originally from Northeast Knox County. We were exhausted but we went.

Made a quick pit stop at McKay's. I'd been looking for a couple of CDs. Found 'em. Also found a listless and soulless clerk at the counter. Whatever. Par for the course.

Well, it turned out at the venue that Justin and Sarah were also being joined by our friend Robinella as well as some other musicians. I guess you could call the group a soul/funk cover band.

We enjoyed the Motown and a cover of Tom Jones' "Too Hot to Handle." Sarah took a real nice turn on Roberta Flack's "Killing Me Softly."

But then I heard the opening bars to a familiar but unexpected tune. "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor, one of disco's last hurrahs. I saw Robin stepping up to the microphone.

At first I was afraid...

Her eclectic taste is part of her appeal. (Back in the old days you could hear Merle Haggard followed by Billie Holiday followed by Paul Simon at a Robinella show.) But I have to admit I wasn't expecting this! It was a hoot, to say the least. And she did her usual whiz-bang job.

We left not too long after that -- I'm still an "I've got my Hush Puppies on/Guess I never was meant for glitter, rock and roll" kind of guy.

If I've learned one thing in life it's this: Don't be surprised to be surprised.

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