Last night, Jen and I went back to The Mill for the first time in probably five years. Steve Bridgeman, formerly of the Rainchildren, had a release party for his long awaited solo CD. Rainchildren broke up in 1998 (same year as Anonymous Joe and countless other local acts); we’ve been waiting on Steve’s solo work ever since.
It was worth the wait. Steve is a Jam Master and one finger away from being the next Phil Keaggy. If you know me and my affinity for Keaggy, you know that this is not a compliment I give lightly. Steve is that good. On top of his amazing talent, he has a gentle and humble spirit that many people could learn from. On stage, he’s shy and silly, making jokes and saying the nicest things about his friends, other performers, even the audience. I’ve had the pleasure to talk with Steve several times, and he’s a great guy.
The show also featured acoustic sets by Michael Ferrari of Unsettled and Marty Shaughnessy, also formerly of the Rainchildren. Marty fronted the Rainchildren and handled the vocals, rhythm guitar, and the bulk of the songwriting. Also a great guy. It was good to see and hear him again last night.
Michael would probably never admit this, but he was Anonymous Joe’s lead guitarist for about a month back in 1997. He played one show with us, then moved on to other projects. He was 18 at the time, I believe. Michael is a tremendously talented guitarist and songwriter, and a genius to boot. At 18, he impressed me as one of the brightest people I’d met (also not a compliment I give out lightly).
The last time we were at The Mill, it was for a private show that Anonymous Joe had been hired to do. It was toward the end of the band’s time together, but it wasn’t our last show. Jen and I seemed to remember that it was a good show, but we may be biased.
At any rate, the show was great; it was wonderful to see people and hear music that brought back memories of a time in our lives so long ago that it seems like another life. If you like instrumental guitar music, pick up Steve’s CD from his website. You won’t be disappointed.
I need to start playing again.