One of the more beautiful experiences of last week’s tour with PHJB and My Morning Jacket- In Charlie Gabriel’s absence, Preservation Hall’s treasured tenor sax player Daniel “Weenie” Farrow stepped in and joined the tour for a couple of dates. During a post-show hangout at an old mill turned bar in St. Augustine, MMJ frontman Jim James asked about Weenie, as they had met and played together during the Preservation Album sessions. After kind words exchanged about Mr. Farrow, we mentioned that Weenie often plays an unforgettable solo of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” at the Hall. No matter how many times you hear him play it you have to stop everything to listen.
So the next day after soundcheck before the show in Charleston, Weenie and Jim re-introduce themselves, and Mr. Farrow plays a couple of choruses of the song. Jim smiles and asks him if he would be interested in playing it again before their encore at the end of the show. Mr. Farrow kindly agrees, and says “I’m gonna put it on ‘em tonight”.
After an incredible opening set by PHJB and a stellar performance by MMJ all the stage lights go out and the crowd is roaring for an encore. The stage manager leads Weenie up the ramp and onto the stage with a flashlight. The crowd is still cheering, not knowing what is going to happen next. A spotlight opens up and focuses and the fog machines kick in and Weenie begins playing “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”. As soon as he gets through the first chorus much of crowd moves to relative silence. By the second chorus, you could hear people singing along. By the final flourish, you heard the applause and screams of two-thousand plus people cheering for Mr. Farrow and that HAWWWWW you can only hear at a rock concert. Weenie took a bow and stepped offstage. I say to Mr. Farrow “Weenie! You’re a rockstar!”. Weenie replies with a smile and asks if it sounded okay. All I could do is give him a hug.
About a half-hour later, Weenie walked to the tour bus carrying his sax and was approached by a couple of young female MMJ fans. They asked for a picture with him. After the photo, he steps on to the bus and stashes away his horn and says “I can’t wait to tell Steve(Pistorious, piano player at the Hall) I was a rockstar.”
If you’ve ever met Daniel “Weenie” Farrow, you’ll know you won’t ever meet a kinder, sweeter, and enlightened individual. You can feel his joy for life whenever he plays his horn or whenever you shake his hand and ask him how everythings going. He always says “it’s good when the music makes people happy. And that makes you feel good too.” Well you put it on’ em that night Weenie. Just like you do every week at the Hall.
Here’s a photo from the moment. And a youtube video someone posted!