New York Daily Photo Analytics

Thursday, March 12, 2009


The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. I am not against planning nor do I fully embrace an unbridled, reckless, impulsive lifestyle. However, I do believe that, especially in New York City, being spontaneous can be rewarding and lead to some pleasant surprises. I highly recommend occasionally wandering this city with no agenda. Looking through the postings I have done on this website, the majority of the most interesting experiences were the unplanned. One of the most remarkable was my running into a major street healing with internationally renowned preacher Todd Bentley - see it here. Of course planning the unplanned is itself a tricky proposition and can lead to forced spontaneity, with results perhaps as unsatisfying as over planning.
With none of these thoughts in mind, and just meandering the streets on a warmish evening, my steps led me to Terra Blues (see my article here). I thought I would take a quick peek inside. It was after 11 PM. There is no cover charge at these times, so I walked right in. Typically, this club is quiet on a week night.
I was rather shocked to find the place jammed, with the feeling of a religious revival meeting. The leader of the band, who I was later to learn was Slam Allen, was walking and working the audience, shaking hands and greeting everyone in the middle of his music set. Extremely amiable - Slam appears to make bonding with an audience the absolute center of his performances. At one point, a woman started singing to him in a voice which, if not trained, was startlingly confident. In New York City, any performer should be prepared for this - I have often seen talent in an audience which is greater than that of the performer.
Many performers would give something like this a lukewarm reception and patronizing approval, perhaps feeling upstaged. But Slam was wowed, not threatened nor competitive at all and without hesitation insisted she join him onstage. They did a number together - the photo is a still image from a short video I took - you can see the one minute clip here. Be forewarned - the quality of the video is rather unpolished, as the spontaneous often is ...

NOTE: Slam Allen is a singer and guitar player who does a blues/soul fusion. His pedigree and career are quite notable, playing with greats like James Cotton. You can find his website here.


Lorelai said...

the link've got me in suspense!

Anonymous said...

I like your story.

This is one of many interesting things of New York city.
I love New York.

Thank You, Brian!

Anonymous said...

slam is a good friend of mine and your story describes him in a nut shell. he is the best entertainer around good story