Philadelphia – The Grape Room

You know, for all the nights that things go wrong, there are those nights where everything goes perfect and the night makes you wanna do this again and again and again.

That’s what The Grape Room is to me. They are amazing from top to bottom. My manager, Jeff, told me that they were the first to reply to my show request, and the first ones to help when I had him change my schedule back a few weeks. But I’m getting ahead of myself…

I woke up somewhere in Connecticut and started the drive to Philadelphia around 9am. I think I should have thought that through because that put me in the morning traffic in New York City. Whew…. That sucked… It took me an extra two hours to get to Pennsylvania, but when I did, I found an amazing breakfast spot. “Sabrina’s” was quick, easy, and the food… Well… Look.

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After eating as much of it as I could, I headed to the area that the Grape Room is located in Philly, named Manayunk, but pronounced “Msjujdjshsnshahbk”. One of the funniest things on the tour has been when people try to give me directions or explain where we are, and I can’t even understand any of their annunciations! We get the same thing in San Diego – (El KayJohn vs. El Cajon.) but the whole thing fascinates me.

I hung out at a coffee shop for a while, made a deposit at the bank, and went to another coffee shop. I saw a barbershop across the street and thought, “I could use a haircut.” Oh man.

I walked in and told him, “I don’t need a ton of stuff done. Just a skin fade and maybe just a snip or two off the top. Well… In Philly, I guess that means, “scalp me, change my hairline, buzz my head, and shave off my eyebrows.” Wow. Worst haircut of my life. Here’s how it went.

20131003-095710.jpg(Me, barely needed a haircut.)

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(After the haircut, looking like the chick from, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”)

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(I call this my “Cancer Ridden Friar” look)

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(What I will look like the rest of the tour.)

I kept telling myself, “hair grows back…. Hair grows back….” But oh man… Oh… Man….

I got to the show, met some really rad guys including Joey Beltram from Cleveland. Tonight was the last night of his tour- 10,000 miles on a motorcycle! MAN, how cool would that be??? His voice is fantastic and he was cool as all get out. You should look him up.

The Grape Room is like a mixup of the Casbah and Lestat’s. It’s a listening room/bar that has a fantastic sound/staff that actually cares about the music. It was the best sounding night of the whole tour.

Afterwards, the booker, Sean, asked me to play another set at a club down the street for their open mic, they were a little backed up, so I waited till 1 before playing and played “Sarah’s Song” and a new song I’ve been working on called “That’s How I Fall in Love.”

It’s always good to see my Philly peeps! I hope to come back again soon!

Tonight I’m at Rockwood Music Hall in NYC at 6:00. (Beggars can’t be choosers…) hope you guys can make it out!

Go kiss a stranger.
-j

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About Josh Damigo

Josh will cheerfully admit that he averaged less than a dozen people a show when he first began playing San Diego coffee houses. But he garnered diehard fans in the process, sold a few thousand copies of his homemade EP, Pocket Change, and picked up few awards along the way. After a traumatic family incident, Damigo retreated inward, and he ended up writing what would ultimately become his breakout debut, Raw. The album was true to its name and people noticed - Josh picked up two San Diego Music Awards for “Best Acoustic” and “Best Local Recording,” opened for the likes of Zac Brown, Jason Mraz, Eric Hutchinson, and Matt Nathanson, and had enough money and momentum to tour the country a few times over. A few years after Raw, there was his third release, Hope. Whereas Raw was a mostly acoustic, vulnerable affair, Hope was a celebration. Pleading and poignant, heartfelt and heavy hearted, it segued effortlessly from orchestral to alt-country, eventually landing him in the top 25 on the country charts. One of the hardest working indie singer/songwriters in Southern California, Damigo spent much of year with producer Mike Butler, gathering up some of the finest musicians in town, shaping his songs and sound further still for his latest album, "Just Give Me a Call", available now, on Randm Records. From the up-tempo single, “Just Give Me a Call”, to the simple sincerity of the ballad “Tennessee”, Josh’s songwriting skills are clear, his voice rings true and his goals remain the same as when he started - to keep making the best music he can, and to share it with all.
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