Jeff Hopson

Jeff Hopson

The Poor David’s Pub open mic on Monday (the 8th if you were napping) began the way most of them do – with Mr. Troll in the “dreaded opening spot” (look for an upcoming post on that). Mike Donahue played a mixture of originals and cover songs on the keyboard. I followed Mike with three of my songs, ending with Chocolate Eclairs and Apple Fritters. Since we started late, the featured artist, Jeff Hopson, followed me.

Jeff Hopson has a strong grip, a twinkle in his eye, and his presence commands a second look. He appears to be a cross between Charlie Daniels, David Allan Coe, and Hank Williams Jr. And yet – while there are similiarities – he actually doesn’t really look like any of them. He looks like Jeff Hopson and carries it with character. His songwriting talent is on par with any of the songwriters he appears to resemble.

Hopson doesn’t take himself too seriously. Which is clearly evident in Jeff’s Jeff Hopson 3songs. Particularly a song such as If Jesus was a Texan. When he asked if anyone knew who Jack Kerouac was, and nearly everyone raised their hand, Hopson commented that it was the most people at any one show that had responded positively. Then he played his introspective song, Kerouac On the Run.

Jeff’s set also included Novel Sort of Man. Which is the type of country song with some depth and clever word play. No obligatory mention of trains, trucks, or Texas destinations. The only name he dropped was Clark Gable – and he would have appreciated the reference.

You can hear Jeff Hopson and the Heretics on Tuesday nights at the open mic at Tavern on Main Street in Richardson. The music begins at 8 p.m. He is an attentive and appreciative host. And they have good food and drinks as well.

Charlotta Clutter

Charlotta Clutter

John Mason and Brad Eubanks, respectively, followed Jeff Hopson. You can hear John Mason on February 16 at the Dallas Songwriters Association third Tuesday showcase at Sons of Hermann Hall. After Brad Eubanks played, Troll introduced Charlotta Clutter.

Charlotta Clutter is a young woman from New Hampshire. When I met Charlotta, she made me think of beatniks – not the totality of the reality, but simply the sense of non-conformity. Her eyes revealed an innocence belying the things to come. Combined with self-reliance for what is known and acceptance of – and openness to – what is to come. A readiness to turn any new lessons learned into a song and move on to the next lesson. An introverted extrovert. (I’ll wait for you to either look them up, or, more likely, say “I can relate.”)

Charlotta has a casual stage presence that reminded me of women folk singers in the sixties and seventies. An intentional reliance on the song itself to make the point and the confidence that it would. And she’s also funny as hell.                                                                                   Charlotta Clutter 2

“Do you go to the dump here?” Of course everyone laughed. When we say the dump, we mean the furniture store. “Back home we go to the dump once a week to see what everyone is throwing away and socialize.”

I’m not exactly sure what the name of the song is, other than possibly, The Dump. But it tells about a woman going to the dump and discovering that her ex had thrown away their dirty secrets in a clear plastic bag, for everyone to see. Causing humorous reactions.

Charlotta’s other two songs were Playing Second Fiddle to a Fiddle and Alphabet of Regrets. All three songs have interesting word play and twists. You can hear her yourself at the DSA Tuesday Showcase/Open mic mentioned earlier. Dean Harlem, also from New Hampshire, opened his set with a Townes Van Zandt tune. He will be at the open mic as well.

Flight School Nurses, a DJ, took the evening’s music in a whole new direction, with colorful lights. The inimitable Tin Man Travis followed him. Then David Lavinette took the stage. If I’m not mistaken, the evening ended with a jam that included Carlos Sanchez, Tin Man Travis, who knows who all, and Troll on his new conga drums.

Peace be with you.

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