Elizabeth entered the Aquarius’ lounge with a guitar case in hand. Approaching the bar she smiled at the woman behind the counter and approached. “What can I get you?” the lounge manager asked.
“Nothing… or rather I was hoping I could do something for you. I was hoping you would let me play a set or two.”
“Can you actually play?” The manager asked skeptically as she slid a two-finger shot of Scotch whiskey to a patron to Elizabeth’s right.
“The Academy thought so. Four years with Concert and Jazz band. I prefer the violin, but I didn’t figure the crew was looking for too much class.”
The manager smirked, “A little bit of Bach or Mozart never hurt anyone, but let’s see what you got.”
Elizabeth nodded and walked over to the small stage on the far side of the lounge. Setting down her guitar case she flicked open the latches and pulled her custom acoustic guitar out and slung the strap over her shoulder.
Stepping to the mic she spoke into it, “I hope you all are having a good evening. I’m a country girl myself, so I thought I would start us off with a little song from my childhood. I doubt any of you have heard it, but I hope you can enjoy it.”
She made a quick tuning check and found the A string was slightly flat and with a flick of a thumb and forefinger she tightened the string and then started to play the song.
Little Joe the Wrangler will wrangle nevermore
His days with the roundup they are o’er
Was a year ago last April when he rode into our camp
Just a little Texas stray and nothing more
Was late in the evening when he rode into our camp
On the little Texas pony he called Chaw
With his brogan shoes and overalls a tougher looking kid
You never in your life before had saw….
She finished the song with a smattering of applause, and she smiled. She hadn’t played the song for the audience, but herself. It helped her relax to play something with such familiarity. Without hesitation, she turned a switch on her guitar to activate the electric pickups, and with the right settings, it could sound like a Gibson electric. Finding the right chord she started to play BB King’s “The Thrill is Gone.”
She played five more Blues in the slide style and a couple of Jazz songs before going back to her country roots, and by this time she had the audience. There were even a few couples who chose to get up and start to dance.
He Hung His Ol’ Saddle Up High At Th’ Barn
Made Her A Promise His Cowboyn’s Done
Said I’ve Won Them Big Buckles Done All I Can Do
Now I’m Ready To Spend My Last Years Here With You
Said We’ll Break Out Them Flat Lands Ain’t Been Plowed For Years
We’ll Plant Wheat An’ White Oats They’ll Do Well Up Here
Then I’ll Buy Us Some Baldies To Run In Th’ Hills
An’ I’ll Break Out Some Bad Ones Just To Help Pay Th’ Bills
‘Cause Th’ Winters Get Long Up Alberta Way
Cloud’s Get So Dark At Times There’s No Light Of day And Th’ Long Nights Get Lonely An’ Cold While She Waits As She Dreams Of A Cowboy Named Dawson LeGate…
…’Cause He Drawed Him A Bad One At Frisco That Fall
A Mean One To Ride Was A Chute Fightin’ Hoss
Th’ First Jump He Stumbled Fell When He Rolled
As His Neck Snapped Like Straw Dawson’s Body Grew Cold
Now Th’ Rag Weeds Have Taken Th’ Flat Lands Again
There’a A Few Strands Of Wire Where Th’ Fences Had Been
An’ Th’ Baldies Are Starvin’ In Th’ Hills Where They Graze
While She’s Rockin’ Th’ First Son Of Dawson LeGate
Her final song was a contemporary song that had been released a few months earlier with a pop sound. There wasn’t any dancing but plenty of patrons were singing along, and Elizabeth hammed it up getting them involved singing back and forth.
She was grinning widely as she struck the final chord. As the music faded away she leaned into the mic, “I just wanted to thank you all for indulging me, and in return you I hope enjoyed yourselves. Good night.”