Concert review from Phyllis’ Musical Inn

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… Andru Bemis, on the other hand, lives just as much on the road as in southwest Michigan, where he coordinates the music at Foundry Hall in South Haven. Sometimes you can just tell by looking at someone that they’re full of stories- and you could tell from Bemis’ old suit and derby hat that he had at least a story or two. In fact, he has biked, hitchhiked, and ridden Amtrak trains across the country for many years to share his colorful and old timey songs. During the tense final moments of the Blackhawks playoff victory, he sat alone on stage reading an Elizabeth Brautigan novel, but early in his set he explained his stance on the game in a way that exemplified his colorful and gentle personality: “I hate rooting for the Blackhawks because I feel like I’m being mean to Philadelphia. I hate rooting for Philadelphia because I feel like I’m being mean to the Blackhawks. I’m not rooting for anyone, let’s just say the best team won.” One of the highlights of Bemis’ set was “Huck Finn,” a tune recounting Bemis’ lifelong admiration of Mark Twain’s creation (“I used to smoke a corncob pipe/I would smoke it late at night/I never got in trouble cause I turned out the light/just like Huck Finn”) … — Rob Reid; Gapers Block [Chicago, IL]