Saturday, March 25, 2017

A toast to Daisy’s Saloon

I’ve spent a lot of time in San Juan. For four months back in 1966 I actually lived in a small town called Fajardo, a coastal community about an hour’s drive east of San Juan. I started a weekly newspaper there and it was printed in San Juan so I spent an average of two days a week in Puerto Rico’s capital.

Most of that time was spent in the area of town known as "Old San Juan." I didn’t make enough to stay in the tourist section, but even if I did I know I would have found Old San Juan more to my liking anyway. I never ran across a joint called Daisy’s Saloon in Old San Juan. That’s not to say it didn’t exist there or anywhere else in San Juan, or that the bar didn't spring up long after I moved from Puerto Rico to Bermuda. Actually, I prefer to think that Daisy’s Saloon doesn’t exist anywhere outside the poetic mind of Keith Greeninger.

Greeninger (in a classic understatement) is not among the most well known of singer-songwriters, especially around these parts. Here he may be remembered as someone who won the New Folk competition one year in the late 1990s at the Kerrville Folk Festival. He makes his home in Northern California and spends most of his public time touring the clubs, college campuses and folk festivals in that area, especially around Santa Cruz. In fact, I must admit I am not an avid collector or even semi-knowledgeable of Greeninger’s musical output. I do know, however, that this song about Daisy’s Saloon and Eddie and Marshal and Larry and the San Juan Bakery and Merle Haggard and the Mission Café absolutely haunts me and I mean that in a very positive way. Take a listen.

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