Poetry—evolves.Freedom is the range of change.The reinvention…Haiku Porticos…
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Haiku Porticos, a chapbook with haiku genres in a modern approach with new names, styles, and the introduction of a new form: American-Machina33. In this time of speed and technology, Haiku Porticos is an entry to instant gratification with substance, stories, and a selection of engaging poems for your reading pleasure.
Haiku Porticos 1, Dive Bar Loon, Feature, One Man Bands: The Lone Wolf, Punkowski, Matchstick Johnny, & Uncle Scotchy
The Folk and Acoustic Show on WLRN is a program that I enjoy on Sunday afternoons. Michael Stock, the host, is a great interviewer with questions to the guest about their career and he always promotes their next event or new music. On one particular show, I was introduced to the The Lone Wolf—One Man Band. In the exchange of dialogue between Bruno Esposito aka The Lone Wolf and Stock, I became intrigued to see him perform live.
My good fortune arrived on a Sunday afternoon while vending at the Black Market Miami at Churchill’s Pub in Little Haiti. The Lone Wolf along with Johnny Matchstick (another one-man band) were part of the line-up to perform. I was talking with a few potential customers about my book when Bruno set the stage for his show. All is could see from my corner spot was a person place a chair behind a base drum, sit down with a guitar then tap a foot pedal as part of his soundcheck. Bruno began to play… I finished my conversation and walked away from my table to listen… I stood front and center of that base drum that said, “Lone Wolf OneMan Band.”
He belted a set of bluesy songs, singing with his raspy voice and rolling out lyrics that grabbed the audience’s attention. I critiqued one song: base drum beating, harmonica howling, guitar a pickin’ and a playin,’ including lyrics—All parts of Bruno’s performance equaled the sum of a kinetic movement. The Lone Wolf One-Man Band: modern art accompanied by music—what an experience.
Chris Prado, aka Punkowski, is the second of these Haiku Porticos tributes. The Dive-Bar Loon part of my chapbook that includes these artists, have all been seen at Churchill’s Pub.
I don’t know too many one-man bands who embrace the audience quite like he does. I’ve seen this Punkowski performance several times, and each show reminds me of Keller Williams with one exception: the element of dancing with the crowd. His lyrics rise and fall with instruments like his keyboard and guitar looping and luring you to witness this electric show. I call it pump, jump—jam music. Chris’s inventive techniques to produce his high-energy shows, while still being a consummate songwriter is the reason why he is a respected artist.
Raw Rockabilly. Those are the two words that come mind when I see Matchstick Johnny play. I saw his performance at the same Black Market Miami event as The Lone Wolf. Once again, I stopped hustling to sell my books and stood front and center to enjoy another feature performer.
Listening to Johnny play a sound similar to the 50’s and 60’s Rockabilly with his heavy guitar and voice, and seeing him rock out with his songs, dressed like the aforementioned era, makes Matchstick Johnny the most unique one-man band that I’ve seen. On a later date at Radio-Active-Records in Ft. Lauderdale, I had an opportunity to see him play songs from his album, “Let Me Tell You About My Baby.” I purchased and played this 45 and the sound was just like the live show—perfect.
Haiku Porticos 1, Dive-Bar Loon are haiku like shots of whiskey. Each shot is about nocturnal happenings, and people who I have met on the dive-bar circuit when performing. Last but not least of the one-man bands: Eric Garcia aka Uncle Scotchy. Eric’s rock and bluesy bastion is one part of an illustrious career that includes his band Juke and as a writer. The first time I saw him was at Churchill’s Pub Theatre de Underground’s Open Mic Night. Due to Miami’s tropical stormy clouds lingering like most of the crowd at the back stage that night (some performing, some attending—all to experience artists), the Green Room was used as the main stage. Eric was under the green lights of the small but perfect second open mic stage. Like the South Florida storms that arrive fast and hard then leave a layer of humidity, Uncle Scotchy played his feature performance that affected all of those in attendance.
We were awash with great music with an experience no one forgot. His one-man band skills of multitasking are like an engineer of a locomotive: harmonica skills and singing, and that rock and bluesy guitar roll which leads the audience on the tracks of his playlists. I have seen Eric play solo and with Juke and each time he gives the audience a fantastic show.
One-man bands individually deliver a band from one stand. Whether is The Lone Wolf’s Bluesy Songs, Punkowski’s Electric Show, That Cool Cat Matchstick Johnny, or Uncle Scotchy’s Craft it is a musical moment shared between you, their instruments that become divinely attached to the spirited kinetic action and their songs. You have to listen in-time with their tunes and lyrics. These one-man bands shows are not a throw-back to yesteryear—it is happening now with a new style—a new presentation—present day performers who entertain—one-man bands.
Haiku Porticos 1, Dive-Bar Loon, Feature: Paul Lunaire
“Next on stage, Paul Lunaire, also know as The Loon from the Moon…” This introduction at Churchill’s Pub was subtle compared to his performance. The open mic night crowd that night, and many other nights at Churchill’s Theatre de Underground Open Mic Night, Mora Pizza, and places like Words and Wine at Las Rosa’s, experienced an inferno of poetic power. Pauly’s golden voice and words of choice for self-expression or reciting the works of authors, always creates an intimate relationship with the audience. This connection, to the crowd from the stage, is like a theatre-in-the-round with Pauly’s cadence complete with coolness. Although his coolness is contagious, you can never relax on the laurels he lyrically presents—this punk poet’s rhythm and flow will hit you like a hellraiser! Pauly, as I call him, is my close friend, and I have been fortunate to see him host events like Jam on the Hill (Churchill’s Pub), act, sing, and yes, hit the crowd in his authentic way as a punk poet!
Haiku Porticos 1, Dive-Bar Loon is Available on Amazon…
Haiku Porticos 1, Dive-Bar Loon, Feature: Jean Pereira
In the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk, Jack makes the most of his opportunities to gain wealth. Before these opportunities are lost…er…the Giant’s chase, he slays the stalk. Every time I’ve seen Jean Pereira enter the stage, he makes the most of his opportunities to take untapped sounds, play a wealth of music, and when he is finished, slaying a stock of songs—electrically or acoustically. He’s no myth. He’s Jean the Guitar Machine! He plays the guitar loud and hard and when he’s finished, you are in awe at the pure power. Like many of my haiku tributes that I’ve written for friends who I met on the dive-bar scene, Jean is one of them. However, this is not a bias story about a great guy who can jam. I am writing this on behalf of those in the audience, at different events, who experienced Jean’s musical madness. Lest you don’t understand the ‘madness’ part of his play: “There is no genius without a touch of madness.” The quote is from Seneca, who would have said that after he experienced Jean rock an audience.
Haiku Porticos 1, Dive-Bar Loon is Available on Amazon…
Haiku Porticos 1, Dive-Bar Loon, Feature: Cynfully Sweet…
My first impression of Cynthia was her infectious smile. I was at an open mic night at a place called, Mora Pizza in Allapattah, Miami. She knew everyone who was performing, and they were greeted with that smile. After our introductions, I quickly sensed how genuine she was in conversation. Then she took the small stage… Into her first song, the stage increased in size with her authenticity and natural engagement with the crowd. Cynthia’s acoustic guitar performance with originals and covers (let it be known, even the songs that she covers seem original because of her style) were not only polished, but sung with an intimate connection from the stage to the audience. The general rule of time at an open mic night is about 5 to 8 minutes, maybe a little more depending on the line-up. Cynfully Sweet, as she is known, employed this time with soul and funk. Thereafter, I would be fortunate to experience this great talent at many shows and events. During those performances, it was apparent to me that she had an unlimited range of musical styles to play. One night at a curated event at Churhill’s Pub showcasing some of the best female performers, she played Kings Of Leon’s “Sex is on Fire.” She reminded me of Sharon Jones (Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings) the way she engaged everyone with her amazing soulful voice and vibrant spirit, lighted the stage with her beauty, and played that cover better than the original. When she finished her set, I realized it was my mistake to respectfully compare her to Sharon Jones, because she is Cynfully Sweet.
Haiku Porticos 1, Dive-Bar Loon, Feature: Amborijani…
I vividly remember the first time I saw Amborijani perform, it was at Churchill’s Pub in Little Haiti. He sat there on stage with his guitar next to his case that read in bold white letters stretching across it: AMBORIJANI. He started tuning his guitar into the first song, and the crowd listened to this special sound serenading them. When his set was over, his distinctive voice with poetic originals and classic rocks songs had courted the crowd. Since that date I had the pleasure to join him as a vendor, with other musicians and vendors, at several curated events and open mic nights. He recently collaborated on Taylor Davis’s “Gone,” and continues to perform at locations in the Miami area. This son of Nicaragua also graces the crowds with songs in Spanish. The Amborijani experience is always an exceptional performance.
Haiku Porticos 1, Dive-Bar Loon, Feature: Taylor Davis…
I’ve know Taylor for a couple of years since he came on the scene in Miami. His tenacious and tireless effort to perform, produce shows, curate shows for performers and vendors, and tour when he is not hosting the open mic night at Churchill’s Pub, is a testament to his talent. His most recent song, “Gone” is another example of his craftsmanship. Taylor’s production on “Gone” was a collaboration of three great artists: Amborijani, Nay Roze & Dani Reyes. His lead in this project, like many of his songs, begins with a story that portrays people’s feelings. When you listen to the lyrics you will understand (and appreciate), that the Indiana Storyteller is offering a shared experience. This is what folksingers, like Dylan, deliver: a shared experience for all to embrace.
To listen to “Gone” and many of his other hits, follow Taylor Davis on YouTube, SoundCloud, Facebook and Instagram. To to enjoy this great song, please click below…
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