As soon as flamenco guitar notes filled Satchel's Grill on Thursday, December 29, so did the seats in the restaurant. Satchel's owner, Dominic DeLaquil, was generous and accommodating, pulling plastic lawn chairs from outside into the cozy restaurant to make sure that everyone had a place to sit. Tomas Rodriguez began playing at 6 p.m. and the restaurant was packed by 6:20 p.m., making it quite obvious this classical guitarist has many fans who were mature, somewhat studious and serious about hearing every note.
The nylon strings of Rodriguez's classical guitar hummed tranquil, delicate and ethnic melodies of Venezuela, Cuba and Spain. The music was relaxing and beautiful. Rodriguez's agile fingers, complete with long nails, picked the strings, creating the Latin music that he is so well known for. He occasionally used a capo, or "cejilla" to complete the sound.
Rodriguez played songs like "Rumba Surbronxana," from his first CD, Guitarra De Mi Alma (Guitar of My Soul), which was released in 1998. He also played songs like "Vereda Tropical," a song from Havana, Cuba, from his second CD, Dialogue, released in 2004.
Rodriguez was joined by local master percussionist Vincent Miresse who played congas, cajon and a didjeridu. Miresse's eyes stayed closed and his body swayed as he created soulful beats. Rodriguez and Miresse were eventually joined by guitarist Dan Costello, whose expertise was a lovely addition to the show.