"I... I announce the acts, I count the tickets, I smile at people - you have no idea the strain it puts on a fellow."
- Henry Gordon Jago, Doctor Who, "The Talons of Weng-Chiang"
On Saturday August 11th, 2018, once again, there was an EGPhest and a bevy of San Francisco friends and songwriters made their way to the Hotel Utah, a familiar stomping ground for myself, and performed songs from my catalog of music on the occasion of my birthday. This was the third such outing of this variety and I'm always kind of amazed it actually happens.
I kicked off the "phest"-ivities with some rather rambling reminiscing about my high school Geography and History teacher, Mr. Butler and his annual Christmas lectures about the geo-politics of the North Pole (what with the war of the elves and the subsequent annual reparations paid by Santa to this day) in a round about way of talking about, how like the North Pole is blessed with an abundance of "toy-ore" I have my supply of "song-ore" with which I looked forward to how the artists that would be on stage that afternoon would create something beyond what I could have imagined when I initially wrote my little acoustic curios.
I would say they all did so with grace and aplomb.
Clyde Always started us off with his own distinct "Bard of the Lower Haight" stylings and, appropriately enough, a rendition of "Sett'n My Own Pace" — complete with boat hat and cane as promised.
Ken Newman was back to reprise his rock'n version of the Fish Song (which I look forward to hearing on his forthcoming album) as were the Complements, who (of course) gave us a medley on top of their sweet take on "Lifetimes Without You."
Teresa Tuan gave us a rousing and soulful "Sunday is Made for Loving" in contrast to the sparse and elegant version Samantha Margret did on the same song last EGPhest and we released ahead of this year's show.
In honor of our collaboration on DylanPhest back in May, Robb Hagle gave a bluesy and Dylanesque take on "The L.A. Song" — a piece he is intimately familiar with having played lead guitar both as part of my full band show and the recording to be released later this month (Friday Sept 21st for those who want to know).
Michael McGovern took on "You Are Not Her" — a song I haven't played out much of late, but was inspired to include in a set of tunes I recorded in Nashville after I wrapped up with the show.
I got a 2 for 1 deal on Argentinians from Madrid as both Natali Castillo and Pepe Arribas performed "Til I Wash You Away" and "Mama Make the Red Bird Come Back" respectively.
Then there was cake. A vast amount of cake.
For our second half, Shawn Byron did a new take on "Lighthouse atthe Edge of the World" — this time on piano. Shawn has recorded the version he played of that song at the first EGPhest and it will be a track on his forthcoming debut album.
Tohm Lev gave us her spin on "Girls Who Don't Get the City" and Drew K adapted "Lover of a Day" to his stylings.
Christine Tence sang a passionate version of "The Mystery and Milieu of You" with Gerard taking a break from his sound and photo duties to accompany her on piano.
Our illustrator for EGPhest III (and second to have his artwork put into cake form), Mario M. Noche, took the stage, and gave us a take on "Tall Girls In Love" — apparently under the duress of reliving his own traumatic romantic encounters with tall girls.
I wrapped things up with "The Albatross Song" and "Your Inexorable Pull."
Thank you again to all who participated and all those who came to enjoy the party.
We had fun.
The extended musings of a songwriter.