Calliope

Last night the entire family sampled another Pittsburgh institution: Calliope. This was a Three Penny Opry night, folk music presented by local artists. When we first arrived we were almost the only people there not performing. The MC asked if we were musicians and we pointed to Eli who got up and performed. I’m very proud of him, that he could do this with no prior notice or preparation. He’s a great kid. There were some other artists who really impressed me, my favorites being John Wells and Jack Erdie. I would have liked to photograph Wells. He was marvelous to look at: a real character. He has a full head of gray hair worn shoulder length, a slight beard, handlebar mustache and glasses at the tip of his nose. He’s probably my age and twice my size. His jeans, held up by suspenders, looked like they had room for him to grow into. He played two different guitars. One of them had a lot of fancy metalwork on it and he had a metal tube on his little finger. I’m sure this kind of playing has a name, but I don’t know it. His sound reminded me a little of Junior Wells, a Chicago bluesman.

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