On September 10th, 2006, Jim Hudak performed his first ever concert at the legendary Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley, CA. The results were stunning. Opening with eight songs of mostly original music performed solo on piano, Jim delighted the crowd with a vocalized version of his song, "City Of The Angels." For many in the audience, this was the first time they'd ever heard the song's lyrics, and they reacted strongly. "It seemed as if the audience was especially receptive," Jim says. "I felt pretty good about the whole show, and about 'City Of The Angels' in particular." Indeed, many in the crowd had never heard Jim Hudak sing before. His voice was in good form, and he would do some additional singing later, in the evening's second set. Half way through the first set, Jim welcomed Dennis Tuohino and Annabelle Marie to the stage. They brought the added dimension of bass, violin, and percussion to the program, and suddenly the sound got bigger and richer. Jim surprised many by opening the second set with three songs performed solo on guitar, once again with vocals. His newly modified Martin D-18 sounded better than ever, and he clearly enjoyed himself onstage, bouncing and hopping around with the guitar. Annabelle and Dennis returned to the stage, and suddenly, beautiful two and three part harmony were part of the festivities.The crowd got into it, and the energy level continued to grow. The last part of the program found Jim return to the piano for some more instrumental music with Annabelle and Dennis. Annabelle played violin solos on two lovely songs from Jim's Bridging Textures CD, "Wild Goose" and "You Taught Me." The grace and beauty of Annabelle's persona and musicianship shone through big time on this evening. Dennis took an extended bass solo on the song "Steppes," another composition from the "Bridging Textures" CD. His playing anchored the sound throughout the evening, and his versatility added great depth to Jim Hudak's music. The two and a quarter hour concert ended with the Jim Hudak/Dan Erikson composition, "What Is It 'Bout A Woman," featuring the first ever public performance of the song with Jim playing the piano. Annabelle added percussion and background vocals, with Dennis chipping in syncopated harmonies, too, along with his solid bass playing. In the end, it was an evening to be remembered. It may have signaled the start of a new phase and era for Jim Hudak, his music, and his plethora of original compositions. Stay tuned!

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