Last year, I posted this piece which included some information on the recording of Bill Kirchen's latest CD. Earlier this year, that CD, Word to the Wise, was released and Kirchen has been playing shows and giving interviews in support of the it. A few weeks back, a friend of mine from the Sunset Grille sent me links to two these interviews. The first was Bill's appearance on NPR's All Things Considered. You can hear that interview here. The second appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle and can be read here. I find the picture of Bill that accompanies the Chronicle piece a little scary, but not as scary as the picture below which was taken in January at the Sunset Grille.
Back in January, Kirchen played a Sunday evening show at the Sunset Grille in Annandale, Va. Kirchen had held court at the Grille most Thursday nights for years, until he left the D.C. area for Austin in 2004. (Kirchen has since moved back to the D.C. area.) But in the few months leading up to Kirchen's January appearance, the Grille had fallen on hard times. Out of loyalty to the Grille and its patrons, Kirchen agreed to play the show with proceeds going to keep the Grille afloat. During the show, Kirchen decided to relive some the old days at the Grille and stuck is guitar in the ceiling over the stage while playing it. Shortly thereafter, part of the ceiling came falling down, severely cutting Kirchen's head. Kirchen refused to leave the Grille to get stitched up and instead kept playing. The picture shown above was taken by a friend of mine as Kirchen soldiered on. Thankfully both Bill and the Sunset Grille survived the night. Let's hope they're both around for years to come.