The Highline Ballroom is just about as New York as it gets, and getting to play there was a rush. The Highline, for you history buffs, is a 1930s attempt at a NYC elevated railway system connecting the Meatpacking district with Hell’s Kitchen and parts nearby. It closed in 1980 and was scheduled for demolition before being grabbed up by a non-profit and converted to a 1,5 mile elevated walking park with shops along the way and its central station converted to entertainment venue. Tres Coohl.
We had an opening act comprised of a group of high energy, splendidly talented young folks who had just graduated from Julliard and were anxious to show their chops. ’60s folk stuff with a Celtic twist. Very tasty. Both bands were supposed to be joined by Juliard-trained New Orleans jazzman Jonathan Batiste, but he got hung up at a previous gig and was only able to make the last half, and with no rehearsal time. He still thrilled the audience with some impressive noodling on a strange instrument that was part keyboard and part mouth organ. Sweet music from a very nice guy. The audience was large and enthusiastic, and we had a great time. Afterward we retired to Jonathan and Debra’s digs, slept the sleep of the well-played chord, and were off at daybreak in the rain, headed for Cleveland.