Rob Aldridge – In good company

My first Frank Brown was in, maybe, 1995? and the scruffy jerk talking too loud at the table behind me in the listening room turned out to be the next guy called on stage. When I heard the words he was singing I think I started floating. I felt like I was inside his head thinking about a dream I could almost remember. His name was Malcolm and the song was 'Justice in a Cradle'.

In 2003 I brought a video camera to the Frank and one night in the no-smoking Silver Moon another swashbuckling jerk sat on stage smoking a cigarette swigging on a Guinness while his well-groomed cohorts, maintaining a modicum of civility, belted their guts out. I was against him before I knew him but then he started blowing into his mouth harp and I swear gold dust flew out. His name was Grayson and the song was 'Get Back Up'.

Time passes and nothing remains the same. It's 20 years later and I'm at the Frank Brown again. The room is small and the audience is smaller. This time I'm pissing off the outlaw–with my camera. His name is Rob. The song is 'All I Know How to Do'.

The song was pretty great but what is also great was playing back the video later and noting the satisfaction in the room when he sang the line "It's all I know how to do". Some lyrics are perfect in their honesty and you can't fake that and you can't plan it. But you sure know it when you hear it.

When his turn came around again I was ready. Mean Grass. Wow.

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