Saturday night was kickin’, which seems to be our normal mode now. The weather was perfect and the number of regulars grows each week, as many come back to hear some new songs they requested on previous visits. I’m guessing they might also be coming back for more of the BEST Mexican food and friendliest service to be found anywhere! We had the full range of families with small children, to parents coming to visit their children at Stetson University, to young lovebirds, couples and friends just coming out to relax and spend time together. Tonight’s crowd kept the requests coming and, not only did that make up about 1/3 of the songs played, but I knocked out another 1 1/2 hour set before I even knew what happened! I don’t know how it can get any better, but each week it seems to happen all over again!
Open Mic Sundays at Penachos are always blast, even when we have nasty weather, like today. The word keeps spreading and every week we consistently see two or three new musicians. Tonight was no exception with SusieCool, Nestor and Ron joining a few of our returning musicians including Brett and John.
Brett started us off with the strongest set I’ve heard from him yet. He just gets better each week. Personally, I think he’s gunning for my job! I don’t mind, as long as I get to sit with Carole. Why Brett would want to go on stage is beyond me, but what the heck!
John was up next. He is a faithful supporter of all things musical and drove about an hour, in the rain, to be with us. Now John loves to catch folks by surprise and that he did. We never know what to expect, but we’re always entertained and laughing!
SusieCool followed John and, let me tell you, this gal has some awesome original songs that are perfectly crafted for her voice and playing style. I can’t accurately describe Susie’s voice, so you’ll just have to come out and hear her for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.
Nestor came up and, since he was new, I had everyone (even the diners) introduce themselves. Once we had all been formally introduced, Nestor delivered a solid set of Christian covers. You could tell that he had put a lot work into them and each one was from the heart.
Next up was Ron, a long time musician, but first time joining us. This man’s got chops and, being from my generation, reminded me of several songs that I have to add to my set list. Heck, when was the last time you heard anyone do “Brandy”, and did you even remember the group Looking Glass?
The entire restaurant was pretty much packed out from 4 – 7:30pm and a lot of folks who just came in to eat ending up hanging out with us for several hours. Everything was running so smoothly that everyone got up for a second set and Ron was nice enough to let me jam with him. We covered Green Onions, Tootsie Pop Blues (my original) and Hoochie Coochie Man (kind of). Very cool!
The highlight of the evening, though, was celebrating Nora’s birthday. Penachos is a family business and Nora was the Chef who designed the original menu. Everybody joined in as we sang Happy Birthday while her children, Manny and Chef Nora, and her friends, Lilly and Terry, gathered round while she donned the traditional Penachos, played tambourine with us and posed for lots of pictures.
If you haven’t made it up to Penachos on a Saturday or Sunday, you’re missing out on a great experience. Isn’t time you did something about that?