Baby Boomers know how to listen to live music.
We learned from John Fogarty singing Lodi with Creedence Clearwater Revival:
“If I only had a dollar
For ev´ry song I´ve sung
And ev´ry time I had to play
While people sat there drunk”
Drunks ignoring live music? It still happens. When it doesn’t, you notice.
I heard Sutton Sorensen at Hayden’s Grill Saturday date night. Sat so close to the stage I could have been in the band with my cow bell.
The table was set with my back turned, so I turned. My straight ahead view away from the stage was a table of people sharing pictures on their smart phones while Sorensen sang.
Were they drunk, stupid, or deaf?
It had to be one to ignore a singer with a hook in her voice so strong it swung the room, changed the temperature.
It also changed manners.
How do you eat when a voice from someone you’ve never seen cuts you?
You don’t. Instead, wait for the guitar and piano solos and sneak a bite.
During her set, guitar wizard Tim Ellis announced that Sutton was leaving January 1st to drive to Nashville. By herself. A girl on a mission. Nashville or bust all the way.
More amazing was the outpouring of emotions from the crowd after she packed her gear to leave. She didn’t get everything packed away, and maybe that’s the difference maker.
She left a feeling of hope.
She had me after the first song, Linda Ronstadt’s Long, Long, Time. I’ve got a pint of beer in one hand, wife’s hand in the other, with “I think I’m going to love you for a long, long, time” rolling over us.
It was enough to make a grown man cry. The smart phone table missed the special moment.
What Sutton left behind that night was remnants of The Dream.
Not an America’s Got Talent dream.
Not The Voice dream.
You know the dream.
It’s the one where a talented local breaks away from the Oregon home turf and moves beyond the Washington, California, Idaho borders, where they set sail away from the Pacific Ocean. Sutton’s headed for Tennessee. Not the bright lights of Memphis and the Commodore Hotel of Little Feat fame, but Music Row in Nashville.
What she left at Hayden’s Grill will stay in the hearts of those who heard her sing Angel From Montgomery Saturday night on request and nailed it. Sutton will get many requests this year and boomerpdx has a list for her too:
Dusty Springfield’s Son of a Preacher Man
Judy Collins’ Someday Soon
Bobbie Gentry’s Ode To Billy Joe
The Eagles’ Doolin-Dalton
At every stage of life there’s a time to step up, to collect yourself and put your best foot forward. Sutton Sorensen knows how to tell time. She knows how to keep time.
From the way she works a song, this is her time. Listening to her makes it feel like boomer time all over.