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Tim Russ plays in the "Kibitz Room" at Canter's Restaurant, Aug. 17, 2002

(report by Maria Nausch)

I had never been to Canter's Restaurant or the Kibitz-Room there, so I called ahead to a) confirm that Tim would be playing there on Saturday and b) to get information on the place: did I need to reserve a table, was it very crowded, did I have to come in much earlier, etc. While the employee I talked to could confirm that Tim was indeed scheduled to perform on the 17th at around 10 p.m. he had no clue whether the place was crowded in the evening, since he only works there during the day. All he could tell me was: "You can come any time." Not very helpful...

To be on the safe side I decided to come one hour early and arrived there at around 9 p.m. It was a rather small place and still pretty empty, so I picked the table closest to the area where the musicians would be playing later on. The first group was getting ready when I arrived. Two guys and one girl performed some kind of country music for about an hour. The first song was nice. The second one still sounded okay, but after that it really got repetitive, so I was glad when Tim and Jedda came in at around 9.30. Tim couldn't believe his eyes when he saw me there. I had not told them in Vegas I would be staying in the US for 2 more weeks and come to this performance, so I clearly was about the last person he had expected to see in that Kibitz-Room. I gave them the pictures I had taken of Tim and Jedda in Vegas (which in my opinion turned out great!), then Bill Burchell came in and I chatted with him for a bit as well.

Finally the country music-group finished their program and Tim and Bill started to set up their equipment. They were soon joined by Jim, the drummer, who had already played with them in Vegas. The room became really crowded, since a lot of friends and acquaintances of the performers joined the normal Saturday evening crowd. Most people seemed to know each other and there was a nice family atmosphere. Tim introduced me to Dan Fisher, his partner on the "Metal Wars"-project, and asked me to let him share my table, which I did.

Then the concert started with "The Door", one of my favorites from the "Kushangaza"-CD. The second song on the program was "Rosalinda's Eyes", which was really weird, since only 2 weeks earlier, in Vegas, I had thought what a pity it was that I had not heard Tim perform the songs from his very first CD since the second one had come out over 2 years ago - and here he was singing "Rosalinda's Eyes" as if he had thought the same!

Tim worked again double duty as the sole guitarist and vocalist and once again did very well and got lots of applause. He sang 9 songs from his various CDs to great applause from the audience. Tim then announced that he would be playing along with the following group as well, so after a short break to change equipment he came on again and performed 2 more songs, "Crossroads" and "Money Talks", with the next group. He stayed on and played the guitar with them for a couple more songs as well.

I really gained a new appreciation for Tim's guitar-skills during? those two recent performances. So far, every time I have heard him (including the CDs) he played rhythmic guitar, while Neil Norman played lead guitar and Jared Palmer played bass. With several guitarists around it's sometimes hard to tell who plays what, but this time Tim was the only guitarist and it was quite obvious that he was playing every single guitar note that was heard during his concerts. And when he later played with the second group on the 17th I could concentrate on his playing, while normally I concentrate on his singing.

Anyway, it was a great evening, even though the 11 p.m. group Tim was playing with after his own performance, was mostly loud and he clearly was the best thing about their performance. I am obviously not the only one who felt that way, since the crowd started to disappear the moment Tim stopped playing and the mostly loud group continued without him. Tim & Co. also got the biggest applause of the evening and were obviously the best received group of the three.