Sarah Blacker Friday July 24, 2009 At The Skinny Pancake

Words by Tim Lewis.

It was a Friday night and I worked until 8. Sarah was set to go on at 9 and was playing with her friend Greg Allison (I hope I got that right). I knew it would be a challenge to make it down to the Skinny Pancake in time, but thought it would be workable. I left work with a determined pace, made a brief stop at home to drop stuff and look at the weather. It looked like rain was coming but I thought I had time. I grabbed my raincoat and took off.

At North street there was a slight drizzle. As I walked past the cemetery it began to pour. I found a tree to stand under thinking it could not sustain that pace for too long. I soon realized I was wrong and took off. Pearl st was a river that I was just able to cross. As I walked down College street, I was pretty soaked, my feet were drenched ,and I was wishing I had a surfboard to ride. Completely committed at this point, I marched onward and arrived at the Skinny Pancake just before 9. I was pretty soaked, but was there. Yea.

Was it worth the effort? Of course it was. Let me state this in no unequivocal terms. Sarah Rocks!

The rain forced the show inside and her volume through the speakers bounced around the room enough to give her a full rich sound. She began the set delightfully loud but did turn it down a bit on request. Unlike last time at the Pancake much of the audience was listening and appreciating. It’s funny how disadvantageous circumstances, like torrential rain, can create a cozy situation.

I grabbed a beer and a crepe and sat enchanted listening as she unleashed her fabulous guitar playing and wonderful voice on us. After a couple of songs, my friend Amanda stopped in for a bit. She had walked down to the theater complex that the Pancake is a part of, to get tickets for something, when the rain hit. She called for a ride and wandered in to wait. We chatted a little but mostly listened as Sarah played lovely songs such as I Should Speak and Counting Pennies. Soon enough Amanda left and I was back in pure listening mode.

Throughout the set Greg joined Sarah for a few songs. His guitar was mixed down a bit, but added lovely shadings and subtle leads to her songs. It gave me the vaguest hint of what she would sound like with a full band, and it was exciting. I was especially impressed when she said he had come down with food poisoning and was going to skip the show, but felt a bit better at the last minute and made it to play for us.

At one point it seemed like there was a set break coming, but she made a comment about just plowing through, and played it as one long set. Song after song was another and another delight to behold.

8 hours of work ,and sitting soaked for a couple of hours, started to take its toll. The impending 9:30am work start time the next day also played it’s role. Sarah finished up around 11 and despite a desire to hang out and chat a bit, all of my energy was gone. When her set was done I said a quick goodbye and took the long rainless walk home.

While I have not adjusted to my new schedule, and in fact my body is still rebelling about my all over the place work times, I was so glad I made the effort. Being able to spend a small amount of time listening to such wonderful songs as Little Light of Mine, and the super strong Bad I Been, enriched my life in that moment more than all of the words I have, or ever will write in my blog, can describe.


This post was originally published by Tim Lewis at his personal blog,