Good food is great all on its own. Good music is, too. Put them together and sometimes you'll find yourself with a unique experience and a night to remember. And it's happening at a popular, local destination.
Before the hostess greets you at Weber's Restaurant in Ann Arbor, you'll hear pianist Tim Knapp playing in the background. On this particular night, he's playing songs from Pink Floyd's The Wall Album.
As a crowd of about fifty people enjoy their dinner in the dining room, where Tim is tucked away in a visible corner by the entrance, many put their forks and spoons down to listen. It's likely that very few know that, by day, this musical artist is a practicing psychologist. So he uses the piano to unwind.
Tim's black A. B. Chase grand piano is a jewel you can't miss. But the focus of the audience attention is not on the piano. It's entirely focused on Tim. He's been playing at Weber's for nineteen years now. How he got the gig is like a story out of Hollywood. He started working in the room service department but was discovered by the owner of Weber's Inn while playing the piano on his breaks.
Even with a flourishing career as a psychologist, the Dexter native continues to play three times a week at the restaurant. But, sometimes, the two worlds collide and Tim has to quickly finishing playing a song to respond to an emergency call.
Tim continues his set with the song, "Is there anybody out there?" as if it were a musical answer to a patient's question. That cause's more heads to turn and look at the man in black suit and tie.
John Stein is at the restaurant bar behind the piano, and the song certainly piques his interest. After speaking with John, I learned he was more than a fan of Tim's performance. He was an audio mixer for Pink Floyd during the 1970's when the band was on tour. I know, what are the odds of that? John was couldn't help but to compare Tim's performance with the original. He says he prefers to listen to the songs on the piano.
Tim's sets usually last two hours. During that time, waiters constantly carry food and drinks by the piano. With a smile on her face, Amanda Majors describes says listening to Tim's music for the three years she has worked at Weber's has taught her a lot about the composition of music.
After nearly two decades at Weber's, management has new plans for Tim. In mid-January, he will start taking center stage just a few feet from the dining room. Brian Weber, who is the vice president of the restaurant, says Tim will join a base player and drummer in the Habitat Lounge for special performances.
At the end of the day, Tim does not plan to quit his day job as a psychologist, and it appears there is no plan to quit the musical therapy of his evenings, either.
Note: Below are the Pink Floyd songs that Tim played during this story:
— Jorge Avellan is the Ann Arbor beat reporter and anchor for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him firstname.lastname@example.org