Monday, August 27, 2018

Encounters With Greatness (An Occasional Series): Special A Guy Walks Into a Bar... Edition

So a week or so ago, I was at the Keuka Kafe, my local watering hole down the street (Queens Boulevard, or what the locals call Le Boulevard de la Mort) from a certain Shady Dame's home in Forest Hills. BTW, if you're ever in the neighborhood stop by, say hi, and order something refreshing from their spectacular wine list.

But I digress. In any case, for some reason it seems to attract people directly or indirectly working in the popular music field.

For example, in 2017, I struck up a bar conversation with a neighborhood guy named Gabe Mera, who plays in what turned out to be a really good sort of classic rock band, and also is a terrific guitar tech who specializes in instrument set-ups and repairs. You can read more about Gabe, and the great work he did on a trash-can bass discovered by my chums The Weasels, at the link HERE.

And then in 2018, I got to chatting with a young kid named Joe Benoit (also a neighborhood guy), who turned out to be an insanely talented singer/songwriter/guitarist who (doing business with his band The Regulars) made an album that I played obsessively for months after meeting him, and who more recently was kind enough to contribute angelic backup harmonies on a new Floor Models track.

You can learn more about Joe, and listen to one of The Regulars utterly gorgeous songs, over HERE. You'll thank me, frankly.

In any case, the other week there was a sort of youngish hipster guy at the bar. I engage in this perhaps unfair cultural stereotyping because there were few such folks in the neighborhood when we moved in four years ago, but their numbers are increasing, and this usually presages the opening of better restaurants, which would be a good thing. I gleaned from his overheard conversation that he was in Forest Hills killing time because a connecting flight (from La Guardia to Bumfuck Somewhere) had been cancelled and a Google search turned up the fact that the Keuka Kafe might be an agreeable place to wile away several hours while waiting for the next plane out.

We got to talking; I asked him whether he was traveling for business or pleasure, and he let it drop that he was a rock musician in the midst of a brief tour. I allowed how isn't stardom wonderful, and eventually, after I got over my surprise at the encounter -- I mean, statistically, this was getting weird -- I asked him if I had heard of his band.

I hadn't, but I have now. Ladies and germs, let's give it up for my new pal Clinton Clegg...

...lead singer of the fabulous Pittsburgh-based neo-soul revival band The Commonheart.

And here they are, tearing it up at a recent live appearance.

You can, and should, find out more about them over at their official website HERE. It features tour dates, videos, merch, and links to all that sort of jazz. And here's a really good piece on them from their hometown paper.

And if you bump into Clinton at a bar near you, tell him PowerPop sent you!


Frito Bandito said...

He sounds like a funky Bob Seger

steve simels said...

He does indeed.

Unknown said...

Nice! Was not expecting that. Good to know people are still making that kind of music with that kind of lineup (horns! back-up singers!). God knows how they make any money, but bless them.

Anonymous said...

The Commonheart is one hot band!!!

Captain Al