It turned into a real life hootenanny!
Friday night Eric Erdman played at Manci’s in Daphne. It is a place we love to go. The food is good and the service is good. The atmosphere at Manci’s is one-of-a-kind, with helter-skelter decor of antiques on shelves, also attached to the walls and hanging here and there. The light fixtures have old branding irons, cow bells, spurs, and things I cannot define welded together for a look unlike any you will see anywhere.
Sometimes it gets very loud and rowdy in Manci’s. Even on those nights of noise, there are still people who are there for the music and attentive to the show. But this night, most that were there came just to hear Eric. The place was packed with people anxious to enjoy the music. These are the nights filled with so much fun that leaves us with great memories.
Adding to the night’s excitement, there were quite a few musicians in the mix of folks who came to see the show…. Eric began the show and everyone settled down to listen. (By virtue of this venue being a restaurant, there is going to be a certain amount of distraction that you don’t find in a listening room environment).
Chris Powell from the band “Peek” was there. Peek is a popular rock band out of Mobile, Alabama that has been loved and respected for many years. If you go to one of their shows, you will have fun. Eric invited him to come up and sing. Chris took the stage area and sang an original song about his dog. I loved it. Later he sang one of Eric’s songs “Leaving Birmingham” while Eric accompanied him on the guitar. Just to be sure he didn’t miss any important words, Chris had the lyrics on his phone and he referred to it from time to time. Of course Chris Powell did a great job on both songs and everyone enjoyed it, especially Eric.
The duet of “Phil & Foster”(Phil Proctor and Stan Foster) came by after their show with The Marlow Boys. Soon they also took the stage with “4 in the Morning”…one of my favorites…it was all three as Eric joined them on the chorus. That was a crowd pleaser in a big way. I have to say they just don’t come any finer than these two gentlemen with their talent and charisma. Check them out at Callaghan’s on Wednesday nights and as they appear at many other places around. Also don’t miss a chance to hear them with their band The Marlow Boys…you will be lifted up and happy after one of their energetic shows.
Harrison McInnis and his girlfriend Bailey Hartwell arrived and before you knew it he was singing back up on a couple of Eric’s songs. Then Eric backed him up and they sang one together. Harrison has a new CD out “Love Remedy”(courtesy of BCPR -Jeff Zimmer). It is wonderful, go get ya one if you don’t already have it.
It was billed as a night with Eric Erdman, and it turned out to be Eric and his wonderful musician friends who helped to elevate the show to one of those nights to remember.
There was a big crowd sing-a-long when Eric sang “Mistake of a Woman”, “Not Slowing Down”, “If Alabama is not Good Enough for You”, “If Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right”, and the title song from his newest CD, “It’s Not Like You Don’t Know Me”.(also courtesy of BCPR-Jeff Zimmer)
Eric’s friend Tom Klinker joined him for his rousing performance of “Why” as the audience half shouted, half sang the chorus each time it rolled around. It was a clapping and knee slapping good time.
Manci’s has been around a long long time. I am so grateful to Harry Johnson and John Thompson for rescuing it a few years ago when it was looking at certain death. They bought it and kept it very close to its original look; with old unique empty whiskey bottles on shelves, guns, a huge snake skin in a frame, old pictures of inside the place and of the Daphne police and local baseball teams, etc. A person has so much to look at, it can be dizzying at times just to look up or look around at the clutter-laden walls of interesting things.
MANCI’S, there is no other place quite like it.
(P.S. it doesn’t hurt that one of the most handsome guys on earth happens to work there, Garrett is a sight for sore eyes!).
Another night of music is in the books. Another great time with friends as well. My friends Judy Richards and Simone Lipscomb sat with me (both are fabulous authors). They met for the first time at this show and really hit it off. I was so happy to have introduced these two who have so much in common. Turns out Simone had just finished reading Judy’s book “Summer Lightning” and was thrilled to meet the writer. I had a large table that was expanded with even more chairs and everyone around me was having a great time. I could not have planned it any better.
I want to thank Harry and JT for providing this place of fun and great food for us. (I had the shrimp wrap and so did many at my table…if you go there, give it a try…its delicious!)
It is nights like this that remind me just how wonderful life can be!