Quick Q and A with Bob Simons

There’s something very, very special about being the FIRST at anything and Mr. Bob Simons has the distinct honor of being the FIRST musician to grace the stage of the me&thee.  As we celebrate our 50th year of existence, we felt it was most appropriate to ask Bob to come and sing a few songs to pay tribute to him and to the little club that could and has continued to present some of the best music around!

Bob has released a recording of his original songs called “Falling Through the Years” and it’s available at his website.

Bob also collaborates with Renee Goodwin and you can find information about their duo here.

Do you have any favorite memories about the me&thee in its early days?
Favorite and interesting. I remember receiving a call from Anthony telling me about his new venture and asking me to be the first performer. It was a nice night but I never thought that the Me & Thee would become what it has.  For the first few years,  I performed there either by myself or with my friend Jim King as “The Watkins Marsh Bumppe Shoppe”.  I hosted the Open Mic (called a Hoot in those days) for a number of years as well.  One night a friend was performing in a group called Patchwork and she put her very new Martin D35 down on a table on stage.  There were tables on stage, in the other room, back then with lit candles. She put her beautiful guitar too close to the candle and while performing and the neck ignited.

How would you describe the music that you played 50 years and what you perform now?
I performed what they called “contemporary folk music” back then and I still do.  I have picked up some country, vintage rock and roll, and other popular songs for performances outside of coffeehouses or concert situations but my love is still what I started with contemporary folk music.

Who were your early musical influences?
Early on there was Gordon Lightfoot, Ian and Sylvia, Tom Paxton, Bob Dylan, Tom Rush etc.etc. &etc.  Bill Staines was a close friend and I was always impressed and influenced by his music.

Have you discovered other musicians in the past several decades who made you feel as inspired as your earlier heroes?
There are many whose music I have come to appreciate.  The effect was a lot different back then though as the whole folk music thing was so new and there were so many local listening venues.  However, Gordon Bok, John Prine, Stan Rogers, John Gorka– there are so many I can’t mention them all.  So many great artists out there!

Besides music, what are your favorite past times?
Sports especially!! I follow all the local professional teams and also the Premier League (soccer) in England.   I have a 200-year-old house which also takes up a bit of my spare time.

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