06/29/06 – Ann Arbor, MI (Shawn Mullins / Clay Cook, Ari Hest concert)

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My good friend Clay Cook has been touring as part of a duo with Shawn Mullins and their tour brought them to Ann Arbor today.  I haven’t seen Clay in 6-7 months so it was really nice to catch up.  I sat on stage and caught up with him while he set up he and Shawn’s gear.. It was a lot of fun.

While chatting on stage, the opening act Ari Hest came on stage and struck up a conversation with us.  My good friend Elana got me into Ari back in 2001 or 2002 and I was also fortunate to work with Ari when I was with Sony Music (he is currently signed to Columbia). He’s got an incredible voice and a hell of a nice guy too!

Jenny came over and I introduced her to Clay… we chatted some more and he went back to their RV while Jenny & I grabbed a slice of pizza and took a seat for Ari’s performance… He sounded great… It was so nice to see him live again.

Between set’s Clay called us over and brought us backstage and introduced us to Shawn whom I met once a few years back.  He was in pre-show mode so we didn’t talk much beforehand.

Jenny & I stayed just off-stage and got to watch the show from there.  Shawn, in my opinion is such an underrated performer, singer, and musician.  It’s great to see many fans sticking with him since 1992 and his big hit back in 1998 “Lullabye.”

Shawn Mullins & Clay Cook have such a great chemistry together on stage and it comes across so well in their strong live show.  After the show I talked with Clay as he tore down and packed up their gear.. I had the opportunity to talk with Shawn for a few minutes, who is one of the nicest guys in music.. very personable and kindly signed the booklets of each of his albums for me.   Clay must have told him a bit about me as he told me how great I look and how happy he is to see me doing well post-Sony (I returned the compliment).  (see photos)

Jenny & I said our goodbye to Shawn as he whisked away with his wife… We talked to Clay a bit more