Singing with Bob Smith

That’s a picture of me on Halloween, scaring the fellow revelers by singing You Fascinate Me So.

OK, I’ve been meaning to write forever about discovering how terrific it is to sing with Bob Smith.  Ron and I originally, FINALLY, went to hear him for the first time in September at the prodding of the ever-prescient Kathy Reilly who had been raving about his Monday nights at the Madison Hotel.  

Bob Smith is a really terrific keyboardist in a great swingy, jazzy style and he runs a very well-organized, totally charming, open mic experience.  He is extremely fluid in playing the American Songbook standards in whatever key and style the singer requests.  And, he’s also terrific at reading those few songs he doesn’t already know.  And he draws an extremely pleasant crowd of folks who really seem to love music.

Not only that, but the Bob Smith Experience also features the amazing work of sideman Robert Vetter, who fills in on acoustic guitar, trumpet, melodica, and vocals.  Completing team Bob Smith is his son, Ed Smith, who is co-producer, sound engineer extraordinaire as well as a terrific vocalist in his own right.

Of course, as so often happens when Ron and I discover something like this, the Madison gig came to an end (the way that these things do), just as we were starting to go.  (And we did our best not to take it personally.)  But Bob Smith at this point can be seen at the Morrison House in Alexandria on Tuesdays and Saturdays and at the Serbian Crown on Friday nights.

And next Tuesday night, he’s doing something special at his Morrison House engagement:

At the Morrison House Grille next Tuesday, 10 November. Mr. Robert Hannigan, General Manager of the Morrison House, Mr. William Smith, Manager of the Grille, and I will be hosting the first-ever “Morrison House Grille Salute to Veterans” event, and your participation is both needed and requested!

We are asking all of you attendees to dress patriotically, and our veterans to wear something that will identify their particular branch of service. Your miniature medals, a veteran’s organization cap (American Legion, VFW, AMVETS, etc), and/or a baseball cap with your branch of service would be perfect. If you can still fit into your old uniform, that would be even better. Needless to say, you won’t see me wearing my Class “A’s” due to the slight distribution in my weight since 2001. LOL!!

I will be passing out 4″ X 6″ American Flags throughout the evening. I will have printed song sheets with the lyrics of the 5 branches of service songs to be sung in reverse order (Coast Guard, Air Force, Navy, Marines, and Army). There will be a George M. Cohan medley sing-along and a rousing “God Bless America” at sometime during the evening. If you have a favorite military song please let me know and we will try and obtain the lyrics for everyone (maybe “God Bless the USA,” “Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning,” etc.)

The proceeds from the “tip jar” that stands atop the piano will go to the “Wounded Warriors Project,” an advocacy organization that assists returning service personnel who suffer from a variety of disastrous physical and mental maladies, and their families. You may visit WWW.WOUNDEDWARRIORSPROJECT.ORG to gain more insight into this very vital program. William Smith has also informed me that a portion of the proceeds from the food and beverage sales on Tuesday evening will also be donated to this organization.

I am also going to invite the commander, his officers, and the members of Alexandria Post 24 of the American Legion to join with us on Tuesday. I am a former vice commander of this elite group of veterans and I welcome their participation.

Please plan to be with us at our regular time of 8:00-11:00 PM on Tuesday, 10 November, for this first-ever “Morrison House Grille Salute to Veterans.” Rob, William, and I are very excited about this event and we hope you share our enthusiasm and willingness to participate! See you next Tuesday evening!

To learn more about Bob Smith, here’s a link to his Web site.

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