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Saturday Night at Ginger's 

I started to climb the stairs up to Ginger's--believe it or not, this was my first time to the venue ever. I got up to the third stair and the guy at the door yelled "WE'RE FULL!!" over the sounds of someone tuning a guitar and what sounded like 600 people talking at the same time. I waved him my media pass, and he shook his head no. I climbed to the top anyway, and explained that the fellow on stage was actually staying at my house, and we had agreed to meet here after his set so that he could come home with me. The guy rolled his eyes and waved me in; I'm not sure if it's because he believed me or if Bennie P., just a few feet away, gave him some sort of "it's OK" signal. Either way, thanks, guys.

Christopher Rees, who is from Llanelli (pronounced somewhat like the way it sounds when a cat hisses), Wales, but now lives in the capital city of Cardiff, finished getting his guitar ready and then launched into some absolutely gorgeous tunes. About halfway through the set, he was growing visibly agitated by the constant chatter in the pub, and decided that if you can't compete by being quiet, you'd best bring it up seven or eight notches. It worked in his favour, allowing the crowd to see two sides of his work. A few people turned to me during the set and asked if I knew where they could pick up his albums. Do yourself a favour and check him out at

Honorary hometown hero Jill Barber was up next, and she was a graceful presence indeed. Her warm voice filled the room the same way her gorgeous guitar fills her arms. I was sorry to have to leave before she finished, but I really couldn't imagine missing all of K'Naan, who had surely started his set by now (12:40am). I'm glad I stayed long enough to hear Jill sing "Oh Heart" though, that's such a pretty song.


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