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The Ugly Mug (open mic) – November 15, 2021

First open mic in nearly two years. I debuted the following:

1. “The Answer” (1915), by Sara Teasdale
2. “Leaves” (1915), by Sara Teasdale

Sara Teasdale contributed three poems to Poetry, A Magazine of Verse, in 1915, including the two selections above and “Morning.” These were subsequently published in Rivers to the Sea, also published in 1915.

My 34th open mic appearance at The Ugly Mug.

© 2021, Mark R. Adams. All rights reserved.

Poor House Bistro (open mic) – July 22, 2019

1. Ships That Pass in the Night, by Paul Laurence Dunbar
2. Sympathy, by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Note (December 5, 2021):
Only a few days before, I had begun arranging “Ships That Pass in the Night” by Paul Laurence Dunbar. At first, I could not get past the first couple of lines, and I thought that perhaps I would not complete the arrangement. Only the melody was lodged firmly in my mind, and I could not ignore it. So I continued on, line by line, stanza by stanza until I completed the project. This was an important moment.

Since 2012, I had not really arranged or composed songs. Perhaps I did not feel that I had really progressed as a songwriter since starting in 2006. Perhaps I just lost my focus. But, early in 2019, I set out to make studio recordings of some of my previous arrangements, including Dunbar’s poem “Sympathy.” That project was never completed, but it did stir in me a new interest in composition. I dove into Dunbar’s poetry and began reading biographies about the man. The poem “Ships That Pass…” stirred something in me.

I first visited the Poor House Bistro in 2012, playing once at their open mic. I did not make this my regular haunt, as I was playing at the open mic at The Ugly Mug in Soquel at the time. But I returned to the Poor House sometime in April 2019, playing mostly covers, I think. In July, I made the Poor House my regular haunt, playing there nearly every Monday. For about a year, before the COVID lockdown, I debuted many songs there. And throughout 2020 and into 2021, I have continued to compose and arrange. I look forward to one day playing again.

© 2019 – 2021, Mark R. Adams. All rights reserved.

Peet’s Coffee & Tea — November 23, 2013

Set 1:
1. I Saw a Man Pursuing the Horizon, by Stephen Crane
2. Heart of Gold, arrangement of Greensleeves
3. Scarborough Fair, arrangement
4. Folsom Prison Blues (Cash)
5. Ring of Fire (Carter)
6. Walking Too Close to the Edge
7. Six O’Clock on a Lonely Shore
8. Caesar’s Lament
9. Highways Heading Head
10. I’ll Press Own
11. All Along the Watchtower (Dylan)
12. Credo, by Edwin Arlington Robinson
13. L’Envoi, by Edwin Arlington Robinson
14. Sympathy, by Paul Laurence Dunbar
15. With or Without You (U2)
16. I Hear the Stars Singing, by James Weldon Johnson
17. Do Not Destroy

Set 2:
1. All I Want is You (U2)
2. When Life is Real, by Edgar Lee Masters
3. I Need You
4. She’s Like the Wind
5. Song for Myself
6. Knocking on Heaven’s Door (Dylan)
7. A Dream Within a Dream, by Edgar Allan Poe

© 2013 – 2021, Mark R. Adams. All rights reserved.