Friday, October 9, 2009

You're Still the One: A Goodbye to Denim Blue

         A dark and hazy Huntington Beach sky glowed faintly as the crowd began to build and spill out the doors of the local vintage store, Denim Blue.  Inside lights were low.  Outside, pizza and snacks were available.  Alcohol and tobacco permeated the young locals.  Musicians and music appreciators alike, gathered, packing closely together amidst racks of used denim, jackets, blouses, and boots of various styles and colors.  This single place, and a single person served as the reason for each audience member's attendance.

Local musician and shop owner, Billy Kernkamp had given notice that the doors to his beloved vintage location would not longer remain open.  On this warm autumn evening, those he had given support, inspiration, and a place to play their music, came to return the generosity by collaborating in an evening of cover songs.  Over 15 bands and musicians, over 30 "Unexpected Covers."  A sea of recognizable faces--members of Melanoid, Honeypie, Handsome G., Yellow Red Sparks, Railroad to Alaska, (echo echo), Parker Macy Blues, We Are the Pilots, Stanley Lucas Revolution--stole the dark corner of the shopping center one last time.

         Kerncamp, himself on the microphone, wooed the crowd with a charming smile and eyes that radiated a touch of bittersweet sorrow.  Lyrics belonging to, “You’re Still the One,” by Shania Twain, shocked the audience for a brief moment, but quickly caused grinning mouths to follow Shania’s words.  The normally cheesy, country-pop song now emanated a genuine romantic feeling of devotion.

As friends nearby exchanged playful glances in response to the strumming of the acoustic guitar, a moment of camaraderie swept over the congregation.  This is what Denim Blue had meant to so many. And though doors close and situations change, the feeling of acceptance and inspiration that existed here will continue.  Thank you...

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