Dancing in the moonlight...
Ed finds a dancing happy hour
Ed Bedford, Jan. 20, 2014
Humphreys Backstage Music Club
2241 Shelter Island Drive, Shelter Island
"I'm in a phone booth baby. Your number's scratched up on the wall. I'm new here in San Diego. Ain't got no-one else to call..."
It's that Robert Cray song, "Phone Booth." Boy. Christian Hastings Band. Bluesy, tight, loud, just right for this moonlight night. Beyond Christian Hastings himself, who's doing the singing, you can look down to the moon-gilded waters of La Playa, here in Point Loma.
And when the drummer, David Ely, starts racking out a long, crazy-inventive series of solo explosions, he has me holding my fork-load of salad quivering in mid-air.
"Damn, they're good," says Ken. He's sitting next to me at the bar, munching on the happy hour dish I really wanted.
Christian Hastings Band
My lucky night. I was scurrying east, trying to make it to the #28 bus before it took off, when I noticed these massive Hawaiian, like, prow timbers arching up from the entrance to Humphrey's.
So I kinda hustle through the crowds, skirt this dance floor, notice band guys onstage setting up mics and going "Test, one two. Test, one two...", and finally hoist myself aboard this last spare stool at the bar.
This is when conversation kinda ends, 'cause the band's starting up. Man. Boom! They're good. I can't believe my luck.
I'd love to stay, hear these Christian Hastings guys out. But the #28 buses get rarer as the night goes on. I pay up. Three dollars for the Stone IPA (a Bud would've been $2), and $5.50 for my Greek salad. It comes to $8.50 plus tax ($9.18 with tax). I mean, what a deal. For under a Hamilton I've scored a salad, an IPA, a way-cool bar crowd, views of moonlight on the water, this terrific band, a dance floor to dance on (and quite a few are), and no cover charge.
Out in the cold moonlight my feet are still jigging, my head's still going "I'm in a phone booth baby..." Never underestimate the power of happy hour.
San Diego Community News Group - Live Music, A music thing, soul, big band, and more
• THE CHRISTIAN HASTINGS BAND performs at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 25 at HUMPHREYS BACKSTAGE LIVE, 2241 Shelter Island Drive.
Though considered by some to be a blues combo, the Christian Hastings Band also includes a lot of soul. Appearing at Humphrey’s Backstage Live on Feb. 25, the group is led by guitarist Christian Hastings, featuring a mix of original songs and covers that can range from Bill Withers to Marvin Gaye. Hastings is a wonderfully expressive player, eschewing histrionics and overly busy fretwork for solid playing that enhances his music’s hooks. In addition to sideman work, Hastings has released two albums on his own. But this is a group that really cooks live, making this Wednesday-night gig the perfect midweek pick-me-up.