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March 29, 2005

Corky Siegelís Chamber Blues

Tonight I went out with my cousin and his wife and my aunt to see a concert and have dinner at the Dakota Jazz Club/Restaurant on Nicollette Mall in downtown Minneapolis. Itís a nice place with good food, although a bit pricier than Iím used to. But the food or the place is not the real reason we went. We went to hear this band because of one of the members, Mark Agnor. My aunt and Markís mother are good friends from Ohio and since the group was here playing at the Dakota, she took the opportunity to go see him. My aunt thought it would be fun for me to see Mark play also, since we have a slight connection. Mark and I are about the same age and when I was in elementary school my older brother and I went to visit my aunt in Ohio. During that trip we went canoeing with Mark and his brother. It was a fun trip. We had a great time, but now thirty some years later those memories for me are very vague. In fact, I donít remember the canoe trip at all. haha.
They say that with age, there are two things that go. The first one is memory, and I canít remember the second one.
Seriously, it was a very nice evening with good food and really good music that had harmonica, drums, violins, viola, piano and an amazing washboard. We also had a good chat with Mark Agnor. Markís been with the group for about six years full time, but before that he subbed for them. When he played, I could really see he enjoyed what he was doing. He leads a busy life, traveling all over the world performing, mostly in concert halls. Next week heís going home, then turning right around and flying to Arizona. Here in Minneapolis, they have only played at the Dakota. The last time they were here they played in the old Dakota club, before it moved.
Itís interesting to me to see how other people my age are finding their way through life. Mark looks really happy and is a calm peaceful guy, not to mention gifted with music. This is one thing I keep trying to tell people: Follow your dreams; in the grand scheme of things there is no right or wrong career choice for you, except when you are miserable. Really life is so much better when we do what we love. Mark seems to have found what he loves to do.
Although I donít really remember Mark, I do appreciate the chance to go see him play tonight. I am really happy that my Aunt decided to invite me. I got to see another kid like me after he grew up. And Iím glad things worked out so well for him.
They were putting on another show after we left tonight, then tomorrow they have a special guest rhythm and blues singer with them for the first time. Then I guess theyíll be playing Chamber Rhythm and Blues. haha. I liked one line that Corky used during the concert, ďOne of the most common questions I get is Ďwhy?íĒ Everyone laughed at his joke, but in truth Chamber blues is a very interesting and stimulating combination. The harmonica mixed with the violin is an awesome sound. And I loved the animation of the drummer. He played several percussion instruments, but most memorable was the washboard. I never knew anyone could get such a great sound out of a washboard! And he just plain looked like he was having a blast up there!
Corky Siegelís chamber Blues group has a new CD out and you can find out more about it and about this type of music on their website: http://www.chamberblues.com/

Posted by carl1236 at March 29, 2005 11:01 PM | Music



I am awed that you were moved to write about our performance. It was purely by chance that I stumbled into your blog. I hope that we will meet again - in Minneapolis or elsewhere. Please contact me if you ever come Chicago way.


Posted by: Mark Agnor at April 22, 2005 11:16 PM

Thanks for the nice words Mark and I'll keep you in mind If I ever get to Chicago. I'll tell my Aunt that you found my blog. You are doing great work Mark and I truly was inspired by your music and energy!

Posted by: John at April 23, 2005 11:41 PM