Fine Line

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Careful what you ask for, the old saying goes: you just liable to get it.

For the pure hell of it, dropped a music demo off at the Fine Line ages ago. Figuring on roughly a snowball’s chance in hell of playing a venue that major. Sure enough, months passed. Never heard a word. Weren’t worried. Disgruntled. Fact is, pretty much forgot about it. Until an e-mail came. The invite to perform. On a Fine Line Local Band Night bill. With neo-soulsters Dynamic Tension headlining. Good thing I’d already gone to the bathroom, otherwise I’d have a bodily accident.

Scared as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs, I’m, like, What the hell do I do now? Can’t go cringe in a corner. Not after having shot my mouth off every blogging chance I got about resurrecting a career. Great. Time to you-know-what or get off the pot.

Numb, basically in a trance, I confirm the booking, sounding confidently business-like. Then, get on the blower, desperate for moral support in this blindsiding struggle with stage fright.

First call is to Jeff “Boday” Christensen, internationally accomplished guitarist and decent, down-to-earth soul. Christensen shoots straight. In the studio, he had no problem patting my back when the vocals worked or pulling my coat when they didn’t. He assures, “You’ll do fine.”  Knees feeling less like jelly, I take heart. Next, I dial up my other ace-in-the-hole. L.A. actor Jo Mani could jump start a lightning bolt. She kills on a scene where dreams die everyday, most recently finishing a film with Michael Madsen and a couple of other heavyweights. Jo’s a sweetheart. She also minces few words. And, in her characteristic, matter-of-fact demeanor, encourages, You stepped in the kitchen, baby. Take the heat.

Okay. Put a set list together. One thing for sure. It’ll be an interesting experience.

Singer-songwriter Dwight Hobbes, July 19 at Fine Line Music Café, 318 North 1st Ave. in downtown Minneapolis. Doors open 7 p.m., Dwight Hobbes plays at 7:30 p.m. 21+. No cover.