I’ve come across a lot of great restaurants while working on Tallahassee Table. Last night, I also discovered some lovely music, a talented woman and a very cool venue with surprisingly good food.
All these marvelous things merged when my husband, friend Kati Schardl and I went to Blue Tavern on Monroe July 23 to hear singer Corine Samwel and pianist Josh Cossette perform a varied playlist that included French, English, German and Dutch songs as well as some American classics. She has a terrific voice and the concert was a joy.
Coincidentally, I learned about Corine, who is a reader of Tallahassee Table, when we got into a conversation that started out about food but then revealed that she is an impressive and multi-talented person. Professionally Corine is a clinical psychologist who is also certified in equine therapy, primarily with adolescents and adults.
Singing is her hobby and a passion, she said.
Corine has been singing for six years. She started in choir, then at 55, she “decided to not let myself be held back by fear and started singing at open mikes and jams. Then clubs.”
Corine typically performs every other month but says that “I now feel confident at last.”
The audience response to shows like the one at Blue Tavern fuel her confidence, she said.
Samwel is from the Netherlands but her repertoire includes Edith Piaf’s La Vie en Rose, Jacques Brel’s Ne Me Quitte Pas, and Leonard Cohen’s The Story of Isaac.
As for the Blue Tavern, if you haven’t been to this small tavern, it’s a cozy, funky nook with a warm atmosphere that makes you feel like a regular off the bat. No TVs either.
Music maven Shardl had told us we’d love the tavern and she was right. It’s an affordable night out as well. Covers are usual minimal amounts, like $2 to $5 and there’s a limited, inexpensive menu.
We enjoyed both the New Orleans-style gumbo and red beans and rice. The tavern also serves a vegan soup, grilled cheese sandwich and Cuban sandwich. The tavern serves beer, wine, champagne and coffee.
It’s always gratifying to find two Tallahassee gems in one night.
f you’d like to learn more about Corine, who plays at different locations, here are some links: facebook.com/Chanson-Blue
Here’s a story by the Tallahassee Democrat about her work with equine therapy tallahassee.com/story/news
And here’s a link about Blue Tavern: bluetaverntallahassee