Terry Riversong’s singular versions of obscure gems cut through the bar noise.
Thursday, March 11, 2004
It is a cold, windy night on Bullwacker’s outside patio, and despite a crowd of less than a dozen people, Terry Riversong does his very best to please the audience. Sitting onstage in casual attire, including a baseball cap and blue jeans, the acoustic guitarist and singer honors a request for a “Stones’ song” by launching into “Waiting on a Friend.”
In front of him, a man in a 49ers sweatshirt who is smoking a cigar sings the lyrics along with Riversong. Meanwhile, the 49er fan’s love interest claps her hands. Though the song stays true to the spirit of the original, Riversong puts his own stamp on it. In a way, the song sounds like Cat Stevens covering the world’s greatest rock ‘n’ roll band.
During an accomplished cover of Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes,” the couple seems to focus on their alcohol intake for three minutes. Under an overhang, near the bar, an intoxicated fellow drums along on a table crowded with empty beer bottles. He pauses for a few moments after knocking over his full beer. Eventually, the drummer and his friend join the table of the 49er fan and his love interest.
The 49er fan pleads Riversong for some Van Morrison, probably expecting “Brown-Eyed Girl.” Riversong plays “Crazy Love” instead. After the 49er fan offers the performer a shot, Riversong does an impassioned version of Morrison’s “Into the Mystic.”
The 49er fan yells a request for some Stone Temple Pilots. Riversong looks into his eyes and simply says no.
“How about ‘White Rabbit’?” pleads the 49er fan.
Riversong shakes his head.
“Some Joe Walsh?” the 49er fan asks.
“I gotta learn some of that shit,” Riversong admits.
When Riversong starts playing the first few chords of America’s “Horse with No Name,” the whole table claps and sings along. Everyone is content until the next song. It’s a damn good show.
Terry Riversong plays Bullwacker’s, 653 Cannery Row, Monterey, every Thursday at 7pm. No cover. 373-1353.