It wouldn’t be off-brand to see her assuming host duties: casual a tray, attractive a covering from a aback bedroom, cogent a crowd-pleasing account about that one time.
During a contempo night at the lounge, Childs leaned over a ledge amid the bar from the date anteroom and took a song request:
“Can you ask Steve to do ‘Bring it on Home to Me’?” a woman asked.
“You ask, we do,” the accompanist said, aback at the microphone, again added with her signature charm: “Sometimes we apologize advanced of time.”
Maxi Childs Leash is, at its core, the accompanist and her longtime accomplice Steve Netzel on guitar. They’ve had a alternating casting of top bounded players, and that night they were abutting by Tom Cawcutt on piano and Jeff Peabody on drums. The accumulation has been a mainstay at Black Water Lounge for the accomplished decade, an era that ends with their accepted gig on Dec. 29.
Black Water Lounge is closing indefinitely on New Year’s Day afore architecture begins in the summer of 2019 on Superior Street amid Lake Avenue and Fourth Avenue East.
At atomic temporarily, lounge’s abode bandage will be after a home.
“Max and I are activity to break calm — unless she bliss me out of the house,” said Netzel. And aback added gigs pop up, they can alarm on the added musicians who accept aggregate the stage.
A bandage is born
Owner Bryan Flaherty capital a city abode area bodies could accept a chat and accept to music, he said. He had gone to Cathedral High School with Netzel and gave him aboriginal attempt at authoritative music to bout the mood.
Maxi Childs Leash was actually built-in for Black Water Lounge.
The leash — which again included Russ Sackett on piano — activated a setlist of ablaze pop and applesauce standards for a ages in Superior while cat-and-mouse for Black Water to open. And aback it did, in February 2009, they were a quick fit.
“There was no agnosticism aback we opened with what went on that we hit a home run,” Flaherty said.
“We aloof kept assuming up,” Childs said. “You accumulate assuming up, and you accumulate your arch down, they can’t blaze you. We kept quiet and did our jobs.”
The restaurant-lounge has low lights, a babyish admirable piano, martini-glass decor. There are nooks for canoodling and the all-embracing paintings are Rat Pack friendly.
The card leans against baby plates and shareables, accurately sushi, and the alcohol card has beginning takes on archetypal cocktails. At one point in its history, Pop Rocks were acclimated in abode of amoroso on the rim of a martini glass.
In response, the group’s setlist included Frank Sinatra, Patsy Cline.
“We were arena to the feel of the room,” Netzel said. “It’s got a assertive ambiance to it.” “We were allotment of the ambiance,” Childs added. “Just like aggregate in there. The amount of it.”
First they played Tuesdays, again they added Wednesdays. Again they alone Tuesdays for Thursdays. At their apex, Maxi Childs Leash played Wednesdays through Saturdays at Black Water.
“Without a doubt, it’s the best gig in town,” Netzel said. “We comedy from 6-10 p.m. We don’t move any equipment, it stays there all year. You airing in, you alpha playing.”
At the Lounge
Black Water Lounge was standing-room-only during a contempo Thursday blessed hour. It was aperture night for the Duluth Playhouse’s assembly of “Beauty and the Beast,” aloof a few doors down. The bar was full. Groups of adolescent bodies awash a access abreast the bar cat-and-mouse for a chargeless table while earlier guests arranged in abreast the piano.
That night’s setlist included Sinatra’s “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” and “It Had to Be You.”
Netzel sang Sam Cooke’s “Bring it on Home to Me” while Childs harmonized and added watch band-accompaniment. The woman who requested it sang forth at her table.
Childs’ “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” was appealing and thoughtful. She sang with her eyes closed, and fiddled with the mic like it was a flute. Aback Cawcutt beach “What a Wonderful Word,” he did it in a actual Louis Armstrong way.
Childs was mid-song aback a woman alone a bill into the martini glass-tip jar, and she took advantage of an active to beachcomber and alarm out: “Have a acceptable night! Nice to see you!”
The bandage associates said they weren’t afraid aback Flaherty told them about the cease a few weeks ago. They apperceive the assessment architecture can booty on a business, Childs said.
“We were aloof grateful,” she said. “How do you accuse about 10 years as a artist (having) a abiding thing?”
She said they’ve been baby and that this acquaintance has accomplished them that, continuing in the future, they should alone do things they absolutely enjoy.
Flaherty said he doesn’t apperceive how continued Black Water will be closed, but the Maxi Childs Leash is acceptable aback aback they reopen.
“We’ve talked to them,” he said. “They feel acceptable about it. They adulation their administration here, and I adulation their tenure. It would be abundant to get them back.”
IF YOU GO
Maxi Childs Leash accessible shows
All shows 6-10 p.m. at Black Water Lounge,
Dec. 6, 13 and 20: with John Heino
Dec. 7, 13 and 21: with Peter Knutson
Dec. 15 and 22: with Darin Bergsven
Dec. 27-29: with Tomo Cawcutt
Maxi Childs Leash plays 6:15-7:45 p.m. on Dec. 31 at Greysolon Ballroom as allotment of New Year’s By the Lake, a dinner-music affair at Greysolon Ballroom, Black Water Lounge, NorShor Theatre and the Moorish Room. Added musicians accommodate Todd Eckart, Laura Velvet & The Bookhouse Boys, Whiskey Trail and DJ Cory Bonneville. Tickets alpha at $25 at newyearsbythelake.com.
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