Not sure when I got up. Coffee, Otis. Came back, took bus to pick up rental car. Got back, found parking garage, played through some songs, packed. Dylan and Nina came by at 1, Dylan and I rehearsed the songs we’re doing together. They left for Catskill around 3, took Bree and I another 45 minutes to leave. Traffic out of town, past GW Bridge, was terrible, put us behind. Listened to Golden Gate Quartet (Document’s chronological series, v. 2), and CD 1 of the Major Lance retrospective – haven’t read the notes, but I believe these are mainly Curtis Mayfield songs/productions. Lots of nice touches in the arrangements, and the drummer and horn players are especially good, but neither Lance nor the backing group are especially reliable singers. Made a service area stop half way up, dealt w/ some calls from Nina and the motel about checking in early, but decided we needed to go to the club first. Found downtown Catskill, loaded in 7:10, met Liam (the booker), quick soundcheck. Two sets, 8:30-10:30. 6 songs then me; break; 4 me, 4 Dylan, 4 together. Nice to have a real piano for variety. Dylan played well, though there was again bar noise and his stage banter was less comfortable, by his own admission, than yesterday. I started singing some songs weakly – not enough practice – but got there by the end in most cases. For the record: Dying/S.G. Repeater (piano)/Postcards/Unionbusting/Guesthouse/Any Road Home; Lonesome Road/CA Baby/Monster (piano)/Cheap Sunglasses/Not Just…Kiss; Nick Cave/Weekend (w/ Dylan)/Subjunctive Mood/Asking for a Friend (Dylan’s songs, w/ me backing). Small but appreciative local crowd, inc. Ted Barron, who I hadn’t seen since he left NYC, Steve Levi from the Scene Is Now and his wife Georgia Christgau (Robert’s brother), Amy Rigby (very nice) and Wreckless Eric (who I didn’t talk to). Sold one CD and tape to a fellow named Mooney who compared my lyrics to good light verse. Never really had dinner – a sandwich on the turnpike and a pastry at the club; Bree got a couple empenadas. Left at 11:30 or so, found Peloke’s Motel a mile away. As sketchy a place I’ve stayed in years, maybe a decade. Lights out around midnight.
[Ivie Anderson, “All God’s Chillun Got Rhythm” to Joe Tex, “All I Could Do Was Cry”]