A Night on Northampton Street

Oh, Easton. You always give me more than I bargain for.

My night began a hair after 8 p.m. when, after I found parking just off the circle, I walked over to Connexions Gallery to catch Shawn Cav Ensemble’s latest performance. I was surprised, then, when I walked into the gallery to find it empty, except for a couple of pets and, of course, the artwork hanging throughout the room.

As I wandered back, I noticed the sound of Dan DeChellis’ keyboard getting louder. I then stumbled upon a back room leading to an outside courtyard which, lo and behold, was the venue for this evening’s performances.

I have to say, I really dig this performance space. It has a summer night’s ambiance which was enhanced by the tunes being brought forth on this muggy night. I arrived for a few selections of DeChellis’ piano mastery to open the evening before things changed over to Shawn Cav Ensemble.

The Ensemble, as always, brought its best, performing a mix of selections off of its new album, “Glass Houses,” as well as some unreleased tunes. I always find myself blown away by saxophonist Matt Truscott in particular, whose improv ability is some of the best you’ll find in the Valley or elsewhere.

After a while, I looked at my phone to find that it was 9:30. Admittedly, the Bayou-style humidity had me feeling a bit sluggish, and my ill feeling was probably compounded by the fact that I hadn’t eaten anything since meeting my sister at Mesa for lunch earlier in the day. Realizing that my busy schedule had kept me from sustenance for much of the evening, I decided to address that, moving onto the next stop: Two Rivers Brewing Company, where LVU’s fellow Mega Power Dustin Schoof was playing with his acoustic duo, Blue Jean.

I walked uphill for a few blocks, deciding too late that driving would have been a better option, to join Blue Jean mid-set. Upon arriving, I found out two things:

  • Acoustic Kitty Project was playing just down the street at Porters’ Pub.
  • The kitchen at Two Rivers closes at 10 p.m., and it was 9:52.

Upon hearing that second point, I quickly grabbed a menu and ordered the first thing that caught my eye – a buffalo chicken flatbread that, as it turned out, was bangin’. I wolfed that down alongside glass after glass of water – yes, I went to a brewery, and all I drank was water – as I enjoyed a mix of covers and originals from Blue Jean. I also briefly caught up with Dustin for a few minutes, discussing things that only we Mega Powers would understand… for now. #foreshadowing

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After hanging out at Two Rivers for a while, I settled up and decided that I WASN’T. FINISHED. YET! (I love doing that…)

I embarked on the next phase of the evening’s journey, walking a few blocks down (and further away from my car) to Porters’, where AKP was in the midst of an intimate trio show.

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As always, the music – another healthy mix of covers and originals – was on-point, but what stuck out to me even more at this stop were the conversations I had while I was there.

Talking to those in attendance, I realized that there is a great hope for our music scene, and a gratitude for the fact that things really seem to be coming together for everyone involved. Folks seem appreciative of the fact that people like Dustin and I provide meaningful, hyper-local media coverage of the Lehigh Valley’s true music scene – that is to say, the artists and people who make it what it is every single day.

It made me even more grateful to do what I do through Lehigh Valley Underground. The thing I’ve come to understand is that this scene has, for quite a while, been in need of a unifying force to connect the dots and help place emphasis on the hidden talent that is rampant throughout our region. It is an honor and a privilege to be one of the people to facilitate that, while getting to meet great people and enjoy the varied and many talents of this area’s performers multiple times per week.

As I said, I got more than I thought I would out of this night in Easton at the outset. Of course, I was expecting a nice time and some great tunes. That’s par for the course. In addition, however, I had a spring in my step. As I walked back to the car just after midnight, I knew that I had received another inspiring reminder of why we do what we do at LVU.

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