Folk Rock at Racy’s

Racy D’lenes hosted live music Dec. 1

Charlotte Becker

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Photo by Charlotte Becker

Jim Phillips and Robert Scarseth played live music on Thursday Dec. 1 at Racy D’lenes

Eau Claire cafe Racy D’lenes hosted live music by Jim Phillips and Robert Scarseth on Friday, Dec. 1. This event was the first live music group event that the cafe has had in a while, according to barista Jeremiah Tank. 

“We have been trying to push (live music) more and have more events recently,” Tank said. “This is a first, I haven’t had a full on group play here since I have been working here.”

The group that played Thursday was a duo called Jim and Robert. The duo consists of UW-Eau Claire’s own chemistry professor Phillips, a singer- songwriter and guitar player, as well as Scarseth, who plays the guitar and sings as well. 

Phillips and Scarseth have only recently begun playing together as a duo, according to Phillips. 

“(Robert and I) became friends eight years ago and we have been playing together informally for six or seven years,” Phillips said. “We started doing this as a duo maybe a couple of months ago.”

According to audience member Julie Majkowski-Thomas, who has also played music with Phillips and Scarseth, Racy’s was perfect for the live music event. 

“It was a great venue,” Majkowski-Thomas said, “it was nice having the chairs set up so you were in an audience style so, instead of chatting together or looking at our phones, we were actually listening to the music.”

The sound of the duo is a bit more on the folk rock side, Phillips said.

“(We play) a little bit of everything. I would describe it as folk rock broadly defined,” Phillips said, “a little bit of classic country, a little bit of blues, a lot of acoustic improvisational rock. A lot of the Grateful Dead.”

According to Phillips, the goal for Phillips and Scarseth was to play their music and connect with the audience members. 

“If I can find the same emotional space that somebody who is listening to what I am doing out there, then I get the goosebumps,” Phillips said. “It’s the connection with people in that abstract space that is what I do it for. 

According to Phillips, the event itself went well and people enjoyed the duo’s performance. 

“I hope that people come and enjoy it,” Phillips said, “and it seemed like that happened. You can see people out there really enjoying it and you can connect with people musically and make their day a little better and that makes my day a little better.”

For students interested in live music and coffee, there is a special that Racy’s offers, according to Tank.

“We have a special from 4 to 8 p.m. for students if you come in with a student ID and it’s 10% off,” Tank said. “Come in during the evening to study.”

For those looking to play their own music or share their own performances, Racy D’lenes hosts an open mic night on the first Friday of every month, Tank said. 

To find more music by Jim Phillips and his band, the Jim Phillips Project, check out their Facebook page for updates and further information.  

Becker can be reached at [email protected]