following the trail of guitars

Thursday, September 11, 2003, at 02:44PM

By Eric Richardson

Rodney Branigan is in town, and I've seen him play three times in the last two days. Tuesday night it was at the Hard Rock Cafe in the Beverly Center, where he played the open mic. Last night was a double-dip, starting off when Rodney played a short set at USC's Campus Crusade weekly meeting and then continuing at The Cat Club later in the night. In the course of things I even managed to catch another friend, Lee Beth Kilgore, who was earlier in the Cat Club line-up.

If you're in LA, he's playing the Hotel Cafe on Saturday. Definitely come out to this. I can't quite describe the look on people's faces when they see his doing unnatural things with a guitar (or two), but it's something you really have to witness for yourself.

Read on for more about the last two days...

The Hard Rock gig was just an open mic, so it was a short three song set. Despite this, it was a good time getting to go and hang out. Beverly Center parking is only $1 for up to 3 hours, which is a steal in LA.

The Crusade gig is fun for me, since I was the one that set it up. We first did this in the spring, with Rodney coming in and playing his own songs, but focusing on music that's inspired by his faith. It went great in the spring and was really well received again last night.

I actually headed out of Crusade early and drove up to Hollywood. Lee Beth was going to be on around 8:30, so I was worried the timing wasn't going to work out, but I ended up making most of her set. She was playing "Berlin" when I walked in, which is my favorite song of hers. The show had a chillin' in the living room feel to it, and the set list was mostly audience-determined. I don't know quite what it's like for an artist to be up playing to all people they know, but I thought it was a fun feel last night.

Rodney was on a couple hours later. He played several covers, some I've seen before and some I hadn't. His rendition of Radiohead's "Creep" is really good, and he took his song "The Trilogy" into a great cover of Aerosmith's "Come Together." It was a fun show, and a lot of people who are fans of Rodney came out, but I'm much more excited to see him in a venue that's really appropriate to his genre, and I really think that will be the Hotel Cafe.

So, again... Saturday. Midnight. Hotel Cafe. Rodney Branigan.