“Good morning America, how are you?” sang Expression Mondays East cohost Bobcat Carruthers, playing “City of New Orleans” — the Steeve Goodman song that Arlo Guthrie made famous — with guitarist Sal Fusco and Terence Clarke on harmonica.
Others in the audience answered with their own instruments, and another night of sharing and expression began.
Bassist Carl Testa, who began the Uncertainty Music Series ten years ago, spoke about the word “uncertainty.” “It’s partly about the music itself but with some unknown element that’s different every time you play it,” he said. “This series started as a chance for me to play original music, but then became about asking the audience to take a chance and having myself and other musicians take a chance as well.”
Another person who took a chance on this series of experimental music was Roger Uihlein, owner of Never Ending Books on State Street, who offered his space up as a home for the series on the second Saturday of every month ten years ago and, according to Testa, “never asked for anything in return.” As a thank you to Uihlein, Testa set up the final show of the series at Never Ending Books on Saturday, Aug. 12, with proceeds from the show going to the venue. The Uncertainty Series will itself end with a two-night sendoff at Firehouse 12 on Sept. 23 and 24.
During the Sawtelles set at Never Ending Books on Saturday night an audience member every so often would yell “story” between songs if drummer Julie Sawtelle or guitarist Pete Riccio did not readily offer a little piece, as they most often do. However, this was a night when story and sharing came easily and naturally to each performer without much provocation.
It was another edition of the annual birthday party for The Sawtelles, celebrated each year during this month because both Sawtelle and Riccio — who are husband and wife as well as bandmates — each have a birthday in July.