I’ve heard people call it “Hump Day”, some call it “church day”, others just call it WEDNESDAY.
Phil Proctor and Stan Foster (Phil & Foster) have redefined Wednesdays in Mobile.
Everyone looks forward to Wednesday at Callaghan’s Irish Social Club….eating bacon cheeseburgers or the finest rueben sandwiches, or anything else on the menu….eagerly greeting familiar faces and friends…anticipating the guaranteed good time that will be provided by Phil & Foster!
These two guys have single-handedly changed Wednesdays in Mobile…it should be called
Wednesday-Friends Day! If you are not familiar with all of this, you are missing out! Come to Callaghan’s on Wednesdays, bring your friends…or become friends with the regular crowd who shows up…either option is a winner…You will be so glad you came.
Often these two are joined by their dear friend and frequent bandmate, Jose Santiago. Jose plays the bongos like no other. He also enhances the stage with his warm and friendly smile.
With the three of them, they can entertain anyone for hours upon hours….and there is a bonus. They are not only the favorites of most of Mobile, but they are the favorites of most musicians in Mobile….so their shows are always sprinkled with musicians in the crowd. Eventually during the show each musician is honored and called to join them for a song or two or three.
With this kind of situation you are guaranteed a fresh and different show every time. For three hours each Wednesday you will be entertained….not a minute is wasted or dull. This past Wednesday night, at one point, Phil Proctor, (being the thoughtful and kind person he is) had doled out his instruments to guest musicians and he didn’t seem to know what to do with himself….back-up singing was not keeping him satisfied…so he took to playing the tamborine (which he declared was just too much work as he discarded it). Then dancing became his choice as he danced around the stage, then out into the crowd, then back. This was only for one song but it was certainly entertaining….how could anyone NOT love Phil Proctor.
Gabe Willis of Paw-Paw’s Medicine Cabinet fame joined them on his ukulele and he sang three original songs…all three were wonderful songs and every single person there loved it.
Eric Erdman of Eric Erdman Music (and rock band The Ugli Stick) was asked up. First he sang “The Pond”, (a great song from his new CD “Its Not Like You Don’t Know Me”) Then he sang “Why” (from his 3rd solo CD “Not Slowing Down”) It is a crowd grabber, a lively clap-along song!
Tim Dennis of Peek fame, was beckoned to the stage and he played guitar with the band for several songs. He is a quiet person, a humble person and a very talented musician as well.
Next a person I had not seen before was called to the stage…Jesh Yankey. He was a pleasant surprise as he played an original and sang. …I saw on his bio that as a songwriter he “cuts through the bullshit to get to the heart of the matter.” ….sounds like a good plan to me.
Later, I passed Jesh as he sat on a barstool he pointed out that my blouse and his shirt had almost identical patterns in the fabric…. Great minds?
Another guy who was added to the now crowded stage was someone I also did not recognize. He played guitar well and I knew he was not a newbie but someone who had run his fingers on guitar strings before…. Later I saw him sitting only a few feet from me so I asked him a few questions and learned that he works in the kitchen at Callaghan’s. His name is Alex. He was in at least one band…a while back. I said, “music is a part of you…you need to play it every time you get a chance.” He smiled and nodded in agreement.
At one point during the night, Jose Santiago relinquished his bongos to another great bongo master, Joel F. Andrews. Joel did a great job and you could tell he loved being there doing what he does so well. We were fortunate to have two of the best percussionists who specialize in bongos. It just rounds out the sound and feels so right!
I must tell you, I saved the best for last! Jef Funk was there and he and his lovely lady, Jennifer sat at our table. It turns out they had gotten a “laugh” out of my calling Jef a “SEASONED” musician compared to the very young keyboardist Andrew Ayers (in the blog about the Pat Murphy benefit).
Jef Funk is a wonderful harmonica player and an even more wonderful human being. He is always pleasant and friendly (a lesson we could all learn …BE MORE LIKE JEF).
Out of curiosity, I looked up “seasoned” to be sure I used it correctly….here is what I found,
“having much experience and knowledge of a particular activity” “one who has lots of experience”…(which takes a long time…meaning you could be OLD). Jef is certainly not OLD but he is a pro by any sense of the word.
Jef played his harmonica masterfully as always. He is a joy to watch and to hear. He was called to the stage several times and he happily added his sounds to the songs, lifting them up and closer to perfection.
I must say that everyone who came to Wednesday-Friends Day at Callaghan’s on Wednesday June 6, 2018…left feeling re-booted in spirit and knowing it was the right decision to attend this show of Phil & Foster.
I want to thank JT and Callaghan’s staff for being fabulous and hosting these wonderful musicians.
I want to thank Phil & Foster for always making me feel welcome to their shows.
I want to thank the calendar makers for putting WEDNESDAY in the middle for us to enjoy!