Town Hall Brawl – – 17 June 2022

Town Hall Brawl  –  Crown Hill Village Summer Street Festival, Seattle  –  17 June 2022

The rain was not oppressive and there was a covered area to work from, out of the drizzle, which eventually let up.  The show must go on.  THB is a tight combo of seasoned professionals, they don’t mess around.  Actually, they included “Mess Around” (penned by Ahmet Ertegun and a 1953 hit for Ray Charles) in the set!

Now this band’s goin’ to play from 9 to 1
Everybody here’s gonna have some fun
Doin’ the mess around

Ertegun erudition!   There is some uncertainty regarding the name of the drummer: the THB website refers to Marty Vadalabene, Facebook refers to Vadavenus Martin.  How to annotate?  I pondered for a bit, the went with the as-signed version.  While stalling ’til the food truck grub was ready, why not include some other attractions?  Poet Reed (no relation to the band) composes on-the-spot verse according to info provided by her subjects, but I demurred on dishing autobiographical, I cannot diffuse my focus while sketching.  I thought she was blowing off me and my attitude when she departed from her table, so I moved on to the Popcorn Lady.  But the poet returned, and cranked out a touching work (reproduced at the bottom of this page)!  She commented that we were really doing the same thing, just different media.  Spot on, Melanie!

Town Hall Brawl

Melanie Reed

Heather Williams









Self Portrait

These lives graze mine –
I try to capture them
in my own way, a few strokes
here and there, a few hairs
out of place – expressions
stiff or open, characters
I can’t help but erase.

How to nail down a life
when words get in the way?
These sketches scratch
the surface – lines and shadings,
black and white and gray.

Where do we dwell
when life has shaped us,
cut us all away?
A cloud of darkness
blots the sun – I blot
the page and pray.

Melanie Reed



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