Saturday, June 21, 2003
Getting back again to Mack Bailey at Baldwin's Station on 6/18/03.
I am sitting with a friend, who like my husband is celebrating a June birthday, so this show is a great opportunity to meet during their "birthday month". Our friend, Wendy, presents occasional house concerts for people like Charlie Zahm (he is a favorite in this crowd) , Robin Bullock, and
Castlebay. They are mostly by invitation, so if Wendy ever invites you to her lovely but sporadic Baltimore apartment events, you will be in for a treat. Joining us is Wendy's friend who works at the Tai Sophia Institute. He is not an acupuncturist himself, but I think one is here from the conversation I overhear at break. At Baldwin's most tables are large and you can sit with people you don't know. I ask the woman to my left if they see Mack often and she says every Sunday, he goes to my church.
Other's at the center table saw Mack last Sunday at
Rams Head in Annapolis with members of the former John Denver band as backup. One of them tells me she wants to see this show, but wishes all of Mack's shows could be with the John Denver band. I am sure that is lively, but I often prefer just the singer and a guitar. For me bands sounds can get loud. If I can get up and dance I can get into loud music, but otherwise I often prefer the intimacy of hearing all the words and the more accessible sound of just the guitar and the voice.
We tell the newcomer to Baldwin's that trains come by. Uusually performers are forewarned and may have a train song prepared. What will the train song be tonight? But then a train comes by as we are waiting for the show to start, so maybe there won't be another.
Set List -
High Gear - this is the first song. I like it better as a Mack solo than when he sings it with The Hard Travelers (sorry guys) I do love the Hard Travelers too. We often see them with W. at their Christmas show at Rams Head
Rock Me Grandpa - At a Christmas concert with Maggie Sansone's group years ago we picked up a flyer about a "house concert". Now what is that? We tried it. At our very first evening at The Panzer House Concert as Mack sang this song, we were hooked. How did they get a performer like this to come to their home? We keep giving the Panzer's another chance to delight us, and over the years they have never failed. We see Mack elsewhere too now. Following people we see at the The Panzer's around the Baltimore and Washington beltway has led us to many interesting venues, and to this room tonight.
Virginia When It Rains starts but Mack slides seamlessly Fulson Prison Blues at the sound of an approaching train. Mack sings " oh that train keeps rollin on to San Antone" 3x as this train just does not end. Returning without missing a beat to Virginia When it Rains, after the train when it seems the train has gone, but no there is more train and we hear Old Train "Oh Train I Can Hear Your Whistle Blowin"
Paraphasing Mack roughly - In a Country Roads Folk Festival songwriting group I was challenged to write a song about crosses on the side of the road. The song title felt too morbid then, but later I was driving home from a trip to N. Carolina and words starting coming into my head. It is hard to drive and write. For safety I pulled over the side of the road, and had to pull over several times to get all the words down. The song became an up-beat song
Cross at the end of the Road
Another one from Country Roads. I was working on this song and I felt stuck. I saw Tom Paxon, and went over to him and asked if I could play this song for him. He said, "we can finish this". So we co-wrote
Just Because You Can't See Me
Autumn in New England - Joyce Sica requested this one
Another train comes by
I Walk the Line…
Mt. Washington Hotel Song - Mack was asked to write a jingle for a hotel in New Hampshire - and as requested came up with this ditty for an ad. Ignore the official words on Mack's web site. The last line cracks up this crowd and show's Mack's slightly rebellious streak, and is the reason they declined to use the song.
Daniel Lee - no train going by now but this song mentions a train
Mack was asked to perform for a 5oth Wedding Anniversary celebration. He asked the wife what was the secret to her long marriage. She said "patience"; her husband said, "I kept my mouth shut". They requested:
I'd Rather Wear Out than Rust
This was another request from the 50th Anniversary - The Wind Beneath my Wings
The Way You Look Tonight
La Vien Rose -This song has a French verse and as he finishes it Mack jokes "I have no idea what I just said" A woman in the audience seductively retorts "I'd be happy to take you out back and tell you" . We all laugh. I do not think to look around to see if her husband is laughing, but he knows she is a character so he probably is not surprised.
Mack tells us he and a back up person had a copy of a song John Denver wrote - they had the cords written down and they were practicing for a performance. Mack's partner said great, well you know the song. But Mack didn't know the song! They went out and performed this song, and now Mack has recorded it.
Wandering Soul (Love is the Answer) - by John Denver
The Wings that Fly us Home by John Denver
The first set is over. I tell Wendy I admire her ability to knit and watch the show. She tells me she went to a "knitting retreat" and learned knitting as a meditative activity. She is making something quite ambitious for her first project - a lovely tunic which is most done. More on the Intermission and the second set coming soon.
Thursday, June 19, 2003
Great concert last night with Mack Bailey at Baldwin's Station, a fancy gourmet restaurant in a restored former train station in Skyesville MD. Trains still use the tracks, and last night there more trains than usual. I will write more on the concert very soon. It will take a little time to write up just the set-list....
Meanwhile I just got emails telling me about 2 concerts I can't attend tomorrow on Friday June 20. Tomorrow night, Andy and Denise, who I saw on Sunday, will be at the
333 Coffeehouse in Annapolis and Rachael Cross and others will be at
the Focus Inn at the Potter's House, Columbia Road area of DC. These are people and venues I have enjoyed in the past. Hope others enjoy the music - I will be elsewhere with friends.
And I will miss the Baltimore Songwriter's Association (BSA) free outdoor concert in Patterson Park, Baltimore MD on Saturday June 21 from 11 Am to 7 pm. (You can get concert info from firstname.lastname@example.org.) When we went before we had a great time, and I think my husband can make it on Sat. He has the schedule - he may try to see Richard Broadbent at 12:10 since we enjoyed seeing him last week, or our friends Paul Harrisonat 2pm, Nita Callihan and Paul Iwancio at 2:40 & 3:15 (who we recently saw on MD Public Television), or John Seay at 4:20. Of course part of the charm in going is hearing all the other talent we haven't heard yet. Eliot Bronson and We're About Nine where there when we went before (was that last year or the year before?)
I do plan to go Wednesday, June 24 to hear one of our favorites, Eliot Bronson, at a free concert from noon to 1pm at University of Maryland in Baltimore Country (UMBC), Catonsville Md, in the COMMONS which is an open area in the student union. We get to hear Eliot twice next week. YES!
Wednesday, June 18, 2003
Sunday 6-15-03 - Part II
There are 50+ people counted here at this outdoor “house” concert/father’s day cookout at the Moore's http: //www.mooremusic.org/ People come and go. In introducing Zeala, http://www.zeala.net/ , for the second set of this Moore House, Scott asks how many “Zea-lots” there are in the audience. Some young people sitting near us and others clap hard. The band itself is “young”, that is women between mid-20’s to 40.
Lea, http://www.thisislea.com/ usually plays bass with this group, but they have a substitute tonight. Lea is the only performer from this group I have seen before. I had reservations about hearing a “band”, even a band of women, and I was so looking forward to her familiar face and music.
However Lea’s presence is felt. Lead singer Aura keeps reporting that she is singing songs Lea wrote. She observes that in Lea’s absence, this is becoming a Lea night. And Aura celebrates that fact that she gets to sing lots of the songs that Lea usually sings.
Zeala’s Set Inludes:
Don’t Stop Lovin me Now by Frank Taggert
Lovin & Vitamins
You Say You’re Lonely by Lea
It’s Been a Long Time by Lea
Twelve O’Clock by Avril
Quentin by Lea
Nighttime Snack by Lisa Taylor
I Love All of This by Aura ( she wrote this after a recent reunion with her high school classmates - 200 international students – it was an intense school and an intense reunion)
Let’s Go – their hybrid funk bluegrass tune
This band has a big band sound to me – Stacey Sloan on both alto and tenor Saxophones, Cheryl Terwilliger on Trumpet, Lisa Taylor on Drums & Vocals, Aura Kanegis lead singer, Avril Smith on guitar and Vocals, and a back up bass for Lea.
About half way through the band asks us in the audience to join in and support the percussion for a song. They think I guess that we’ll clap along. But an audience member Don volunteers to get a bag full of percussion instruments from his car, so they play something else first. Don distributes shakers, and cymbals and rattles and when the song begins a spontaneous conga line formed and snakes through the crowd. What fun! This was not the only time some of us are up dancing!
At some point Aura tells us we are getting all the benefits of Wolf Trap without the high ticket price – we have a cookout, great food, a lawn and music. And it doesn’t rain!
At the close Scott tells us we have been at the kick off of the summer folk festival season.
(Actually my festival season started in May near Havre de Grace at the Susquehanna Music and Arts Festival
- http://mywebpages.comcast.net/smaf2003/smaf.html ). Scott is right though. This has the feel of a summer folk festival. Scott tells us that Andrew McKnight http://www.shenandoahacoustics.com/andrew/ is having a private festival – invitation only - in Va I think on Saturday June 21 and that people Scott knows (like those in the audience) can get an invite if they see Scott.
I and others in the audience are looking forward to the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival July 24-27, 2003 http://www.falconridgefolk.com/overview.html in the Berkshires in NY State near Hudson, NY, and also the nearby 4th Annual Country Roads folk festival an hour away in nearby West Va. on August 30, 2003 http://www.mofolk.com/
Thank you to the Moore’s and their volunteers for great hospitality – it was quite a lot of effort to set up so much outside for this event. Thanks to Andy and Denise and Zeala. Lea we missed you, even the Zeala did a “Lea Festival” in your absence!
And I am looking forward to seeing Mack Bailey at Baldwin’s Station http://www.uptownconcerts.com/ on Wednesday, June 18, 2003. (Sorry Reba about mentioning this concert to you like it was your venue. I know that your place is not Baldwin's but Vic (and Reba’s) Music Corner in Rockville http://220.127.116.11/concert.htm (dark this week but with Suzanne Buirgy and Anni Clark next Wed. on 6/25/03). Of course last week I so wanted to see Cliff Eberhardt at Vic's (and also David Roth at Baldwin's) - a horrible conflict. With such a difficult choice to make, uncharacteristically for me, I chose a nonmusic event instead. So many great concerts, so little time!
And I can’t wait to write a concert review of the Eliot Bronson http://www.eliotbronson.com/ show at the Jammin Java http://www.jamminjava.com/ on June 27 which happens to the day we are celebrating my husband David’s birthday. Eliot Bronson is one of our favorites, and we just don’t see him often enough since he moved to Massachusetts. This concert should be cap on a great birthday celebration!
Monday, June 16, 2003
A man walks and says "We're here!" adding his beach chair to the chairs in several rows at the top of a small incline looking down at the stage, the wooden deck on the back of the Moore's house, 3 steps above the ground. Canopies cover both the deck and the food area to the right of the house. This Father's Day
Moore house concert is a cookout with music in the backyard (unless it rains). The Moore have had backyard concerts once or twice before but this is my first time at one here. Their concerts are usually in their basement.
We are arriving at an outdoor sound check, praying like everyone else that the 50% chance of rain does not materialize.
Andy and Denise are first. I met them at a craft show and bought a CD and like it. Scott Moore introduces them as excellent performers in their own right, and as the folks who are helping
Eliot Bronson and We're About Nine produce their next CD's. Yes!
Andy points out that the audience can see into the "green room", which in this case is the screened in porch to the right of the Moore's deck.
SOME SONGS FROM ANDY AND DENISE's SET (I am guessing titles)
Denise tells us about her sister who is getting an advanced degree in something like ecological restoration. Anyway her sister left a big corporate job to go into work on ecology for a nonprofit. They sign their song, You Gotta Go, for this sister.
Andy tells us they are from eastern Philadelphia, or extreme Northern Maryland - that is New Jersey. He grew up in New Jersey. Sharing the fact that he never got over that he is too big for his big wheel, they sing My Big Wheel .
Denise is so cute with one thick braid hanging down her back. But the song she wrote about the Oklahoma city bombing is so chilling and the words still feel timely. Empty Chairs
Look at Me for the Last Time
Eliot Bronson was staying with Andy and Denise recently while working on his new CD. They co-wrote this song. Andy says Denise found songwriting with two men strange. But their song is great. But You Never Go Down to the Reservoir
Andy tells us they wrote this song as a present for his brother's engagement. The couple choose to use it as a first dance song at the wedding reception. However, they discovered it is a samba and then found that dance lessons cost $600, so they just bought a "how to rumba" book and did fine. Don't Be Afraid I Will Help You Move Into My Heart.
Since this is Father's day Andy shares that he is the father of 2 cats. At one point, he and Denise lived in Manhattan for 3 years in 300 square feet space - a real relationship test. Now they are Living in Suburbia.
And it is break time. Scott's volunteer fire up the grills. There is a ton of food people brought to share. Zeala are next. Their sound check was loud and I wonder aloud before their set if I would enjoy them. Scott tells me "yes but this is good loud" The mother of one of the performers overheard me. Scott turns out to be right and I tell her afterwards how much I enjoyed them!
As we get home, my husband says isn't it stretching it to call Zeala "folk music". Yes, and/but they are fun! Fun is more important than names and categories. Anyway when Scott introduces them he tells us they will be appearing at the Takoma Park Folk Festival in the fall. More on Zeala and the second set in the next post.
Sunday, June 15, 2003
6-14-03 - On entering, I see the hostess, Brenda, sprinkling white powered sugar on a flat cookie shaped like a guitar. The cookie is labeled "pumpkin chocolate chip,'
This 'house concert" in Woodsboro Md north of Frederick, is in the Paper and Ink Art store (a mailorder store actually). Usually in a wonderful concert area upstairs which is now about 110 F., hours before the show the hosts mercifully set chairs up downstairs in the store stockroom working area where there is air conditioning. This relatively new concert series has a record crowd of 35+. We all sit in rows of chairs flanked by shelves of shining multicolored papers, interesting stacks of books, calligraphy pens with 20 shades of purple, many reds, all hues. As the lights are dimmed for the concert I notice that the room is edged by blue, and white, and many colored strands of Christmas tree lights. This place has atmosphere!
I talk before the show to a woman who fondly remembers seeing Artisan and many other great performers at Frank Allen's now defunct House concert in Bethesda. I give her the contact information for the Panzer, Moore and Dawson house concerts and assure her that the same kind of wonderful performers appear there. My husband is telling people we go to over 100 concerts a year.
Like most house concerts some people know each other and greet with hugs, and others come in as strangers but converse easily with us in the kitchen over a table full of the bounty of snacks (and a pizza) that people have brought. A man says in a very genial and friendly tone to someone he obviously knows well but hadn't seen in a while, 'When are you going to do something good with your life...oh I just wanted to see how you'd react" (to this statement). They hug.
There is a man in a red baseball hat, and one with suspenders on, several women in elegant long summery sleeveless dresses, women in dressy pants suits, and others in sweat pants and teeshirts.
Every concert is unique. We've seen Baron and Barron before, but with a sound system. Before the show Laura Baron is talking to her partner, remarking that there is no sound system here and they will need to "project". Sans mikes is a different experience for the performers and takes some getting used to. But when they come on they sound great. And in this house concert there are no coffeeshop noises in the background.
The Baron and Barron set list includes:
Coming Home At Last
She Feels Just Like a Star
One More Moondance with You
You're the first thought in the morning
Fat Free and Lovin It
My Love Goes on and on (and the audience is rocking!)
I am the Black Madonna (yes! - each time I hear these lyrics I hear something new.)
I love watching the pleased faces on the crowd watching the Laura and Pat, performers I think most are seeing for the first time. We like them and so love it that others enjoy them too. They sound especially good in this lovely setting.
Richard Broadbent did the second half of the first set, and traded songs on the second set. These are some of the songs Richard sang for us:
They call me Dialtone (I haven't heard him before. I am so into his songs after hearing this)
Not too sure about this modern life
The Christiana Riot (this song is a history lesson every school child should hear. This was the public debut of this song about 9-11 in 1851 - Quite impressive)
You keep them in your heart
The little girl sitting in front of me is so attentive through the first set. At the break she tells us she is 7 1/2. Well, she is a performer too! In the second half when introduced she tells us she is "almost 8" and sings "Down in the valley"
There were other songs, and I may not have all the titles correct. We ended with a group sing of what Arlo Guthrie is reported to have said was Woodies's favorite song: Hobo Lullaby.
Charming place, great people. Thank you Baron and Barron and Richard!