Here’s to ‘old guy hours’

My friend Paul Martin (Trzcinski) will bring his acoustic guitar and stylized vocals to Wegman’s Marketplace Café this evening (Feb. 8) and I am delighted.
I always love listening to Paul’s music, but I particularly love when he plays at Wegman’s. That’s because there he plays what I’ve come to call “old guy hours.” He’ll be on from 6 to 8 p.m.
When Paul is performing, I do everything I can to be there. One evening last winter, I drove to Scranton in some nasty weather because he was playing at “Posh,” in the Scranton Club building near the Cultural Center. He started at 9 p.m., which is often my bedtime, but I was glad I made the effort because when Paul started playing, I was the only person there. I hadn’t planned on staying long, but figured since I comprised the entire audience, I’d be hanging around for a good, long while. About an hour into his performance, however, a complete wedding party pranced in, including the bride and groom. I gave Paul a wink and headed for home.
Last Saturday, Paul played Molly O’Shay’s at Mohegan Sun Casino. 9 p.m. to midnight. Definitely not old guy hours. It took me two days to recover.
I have Paul’s CD, all songs written and performed by him, and listen to it often in my car. I am partial to the song “The Flood,” which happens to be his dad’s (Joe Trzcinski of Avoca) favorite as well. Joe and Paul’s mom, Carol, will probably be at Wegman’s tonight and, if so, Paul will most likely sing “The Flood” and dedicate it to his dad and me.
Paul enjoys interacting with his audience which gives him a chance to show off his quick wit. The first time I heard Paul do “Paint It Black” by The Rolling Stones, no mean feat for a solo acoustic guitar player, by the way, he introduced it by talking about how George Harrison of the Beatles had discovered the instrument the sitar in India.
“Paint It Black” should be played on a sitar, he said, the way Brian Jones did on the original, but he’d do his best to make his guitar sound like one. It was fabulous, but when Paul finished, he quipped, “I know what you’re thinking. That was close, but no sitar.”
You might say Paul has “old guy humor” to go with those “old guy hours.”

Ed Ackerman