Friday, July 04, 2003
July 3, 2003 - Hot Soup at the Columbia Maryland Lakefront
The people in Hawaiian style shirts and Parrot Head hats are going to a different concert. We hope some very loud music near Clydes restaurant will stop, because it is not the music we came to hear.
And the tarps and blankets on the Lake Kittamaqundi lawn are not for our concert; people are homesteading turf for the fireworks tomorrow night. The Columbia Lakefront area is bustling tonight. And the sun is out for the first time today!
Exotically dressed women in Clydes restroom confirm that most of them are headed over the Jimmy Buffet concert at Merryweather Post. "Parrot Heads" implies diehard fans, but one I speak to is going for the first time. The party from the Clydes outdoor area and their music do vanish abruptly as the Merryweather concert time of 8pm approaches. I confess I have from time to time thought it might be fun sometime to see the spectacle of a Buffet concert. But tonight, I am prefer to be setting up chairs at the Columbia Assoc. Lakefront Festival - http://www.clickrick.com/lakefront/ to see Hot Soup.
Other Hot Soup fans exclaim that earlier today, when rain was pouring down for the second day in a row, they despaired of having a concert tonight. But it is now sunny and in the 70's. In this perfect summer evening, the settting sun sparkles on the water on the opposite side of the lake and on the tops of tall trees. The carillon chimes 8 pm.
A tall tree rises high just beyond the left side stage which is a white canopy over the white wooden stage. And just behind the stage is a bronze statue of 2 life-sized men. (At the break someone says these are Columbia founder Jim Rouseand Bill Rouse. Online I find this statue is called "The Deal", and earlier was in nearby Symphony Woods).
The MC, Rick LaRocca, noticing the Parrot Head hats passing into the distance, suggests that next year Hot Soup will have "Soup Bowl Hats". Ok Rick, I am a fan and I wear a Hot Soup tee shirt but soup bowl hats is little too much!
Hot Soup are, of course, Sue Trainor, Christina Muir, and Jennifer Agner, each fine individual performers, but a hearty harmony dish as a group.
Hot Soup Set List - I am guessing at titles. When the song is a cover, and I know the composer I include their name.
Money Can't Buy Me Love
Soup - their signature song
Red Dirt Road - evoking memories of Jennifer's childhood home in Georgia
Sunrise on Carawan Hill - by Andrew Lawrence - grandmother memories
E-Bay-O - available as free download from Hot Soup web site (scroll down to near bottom of page) - Sue invites us to add percussion with car keys or whatever
200 Miles to Chicago
Dig Deep Down
Story About Fred
Luray Women by Si Kahn
Dead Egyptian Blues
Introducing the second set the MC says "Hot Soup" is hot tonight.
Who Bought the Wonder Bra
Mamma Always Told Me - I love to hear Jennifer play accordion!
Hey Sweet Baby
Till the Cows Come Home
Weary of the Moon - a new song. Yes, a keeper!
Dream that Teachers Were Paid as Lawyers
I Will Fly - by JohnSmith
God Danced - by Andrew Lawrence
Two Fine Friends
Tain't No Sin to Dance Around in Your Bones
A Much Better View of the Moon by George Wurzbach
Sexy, poignant, and hilarious in close harmonies these women shine on a perfect summer evening. I love following Jennifer down that Red Dirt road or on the way to Chicago or to the "sweet baby" of zipper factory fame; she is down to earth and charming. Sue parodies real life with sharp wit. I guiltily think of E-bay-O whenever I shop online.
Christina's songs recall 2 women. She sings Two Fine Friends written by mother, Ann Mayo Muir (of Bok, Muir and Trickett fame). And she tells us that Sunrise on Carawan Hill reminds her of her grandmother, her father's mother, who is 100 this year - a flapper in the 20's, who in recent years gave up smoking and drinking. Christina has her mother's gift for music and perhaps her grandmother's zest for life. When Christina sings Luray Women, I see her as one of the tall beautiful spirit women, standing like a tree on the ridge.
The peaceful lakefront scene includes glistening water, a setting sun, a rosy sky, people walking dogs, children sitting spellbound, lovers walking by holding hands, bicyclers.
Tonight I notice people stopping to listen and laughing heartily at "bandages don't do that much for you" from the King Tut song. And just as I am remembering the fun when cows paraded in at the Moore House concert during Till the Cows Come Home, 2 slightly different cows join us and dance through the crowd here!
Tonight the show and the crowd delight; there is time to savoir every detail. In this same space tomorrow there'll be booming fireworks, jostling walls of flesh, and total sensory overload.
I agree with Rick the MC, Hot Soup offer spectacular harmonies and sound song crafting. They are pros, and we are lucky to see them here. They tour all over and enchant audiences in distant States on a regular basis. What luck, that in Columbia Maryland the rain stopped, and sun came out for their show.
Wednesday, July 02, 2003
Question of the day on Wed, 7-2 - will we make it to live music this week? A friend of mine may go see Lea tonight at the Starbucks at Shoppes at Metro (UCO), 3601 East-West Highway, Hyattsville MD (across from PG Plaza) from 6:30 to 8:30. I'd like to go but I don't think I can make it.
Hot Soup, 3 gorgeous women who do harmonies and comedy (like Vance but prettier) will be at the Columbia MD Lakefront down near Clydes Restaurant Thursday night, 7/3 at 8 pm for free. This is such a lovely setting for music on a summer evening, but it may rain. I hope it won't rain...
And DaVinci's notebook (of Panzer house concert fame, will be at Ramshead on Saturday night but we probably won't go, through of course that would be side-splitting fun again. Oh on the Ramshead site I see that David Wilcox is there tonight, 7/2, but his show is sold out - well we can't go tonight anyway. So this may be a quiet week.
Next Wed, on 7/9/03. the hot young talented group (and friends of Eliot Bronson) We're About Nine will be at Baldwins in Sykesville, and I hear the show will probably sell out so I must reserve tickets soon. There are other wonderful option this night too, but we'll be at Baldwins.
Oh and the next Sat, on 7-12-03 Dulcie Taylor with Rick & Audry Dahl opening will be at the Dawson's House concert in Potomac Md at 8pm. We have reservations already, and I am looking forward to the show.
I want to see Ellis Paul and Vance Gilbert together! I see from Vance's site that they are appearing together but I see no dates in this area (yet). For those who saw Vance and would like his buddy Ellis Paul, Ellis will be at the Jammin Java in Virginia Friday, 7-11-03. I saw Ellis Paul in the Panzer living room once, but can't make it 7-11-03. Well next time...
Tuesday, July 01, 2003
Sunday is the day people in my faith tradition typically go to religious services. I want to know why I am living, what life means, how to be fully human, and how to experience the transcendent. Earlier today, visiting someone I have known most of my life, we talk about retirement, and how long our parents lived and how much time we may have, the typical mid-life crisis questions.
I go for answers Sunday evening. In just the first part, LisaBeth pays homage to a saint that has gone before us, and denounces a sinner. But they don't call it worship here, they are from a different faith. They call it a Panzer house concert in the folk tradition.
LisaBeth starts us down a path, but Vance's part is the ineffable, the part that words can't express. More later on all that I cannot say about this. But one of my friends said, they are a good compliment for each other.
The Panzer's living room can seat 70 people. They book great performers, some who also play at Wolf Trap, Ramshead and the Birchmere (a venues that seats 500.) It is not just the food that brings me (though food is also a religious experience for me). 15 minutes after doors open, the warm homemade berry pie is gone but it's ok because I get a small sample, and people are still bringing in their optional contributions of chocolate desserts and other snack foods.
Before the show starts, I ask my friend Tomy Wright if he has retired yet. He witnesses about his life transformation. The answer is yes and no. He went back as a contractor to help finance production of his CD. I hear some from his handheld CD player during the break. He has advance orders. It turns out he is not the only performer in the audience, and that is typical here too.
In introductions, Steve shares a new vow. He notes, in greeting people before introducing the first act, that usually the Panzers host one concert a month. This however is the 2nd one for June (and they did 2 in April and 2 in May.) It is a lot of work, and they keep vowing to stick to just one a month. We'll see how many months this vow holds.
June seems to be a comedy month with DaVinci's Notebook earlier and now Vance. The Panzers's policy is to wait 2 years before a repeat booking, even when they know they really really want a performer again, so look for DaVinci's Notebook in 2005.
Opening is LisaBeth Weber, accompanied by a bass player Maggie Marshall who adds lovely vocals while strumming an upright bass which is much taller than Maggie.
LisaBeth Weber's Set List (some are first lines, or otherwise title guesses)
Front Porch world goes up, world goes down -this is dedicated to Maggie and Jimmy Marshall
Cross the Water - I Went to Ellis Island with my Dad -this song is for her Dad and is on her current CD, Farmhouse Sessions
LisaBeth has a new, almost ready CD too; hopefully it will be available in time for the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival (FRFF). The new CD is titled The Almost Live Sessions. Both are available from her website,
Car Song- I Hope You are Happy in my little blue (some kind of car). She wrote this the day her car was stolen. We get into her indignation and sense of hurt and humor. LisaBeth invites us to join her in singing 2 lines of the chorus but with each chorus, we insist on singing more and more until at the end we are along with the entire chorus. It is fun to feels so indignant about the creep, excuse me, thief. This song could fit any situation where I have felt ripped off. Yes, we do need to talk back, if only in song. LisaBeth says this is the best audience participation ever.
Evergreens - written for a lovely independent film named Christmas in the Clouds we should all see when it is hopefully eventually released. The 2 women's harmonies are lovely, and I enjoy seeing them look at each other as they sing "so you will never be alone."
Precious Jewel - This is for Dave Carter who died a year ago in July. LisaBeth wrote this while preparing to go to the July Falcon Ridge Folk Festival.
Someone in the audience releases a huge sigh.
This song brings back my shock when Karen told me the news at the Mofolk festival last year. It was so sad and he was so young (that is he was years younger than me) Is there comfort in this song too for my own mortality which I was feeling so keenly earlier today?
Throughout the concert, I hear several questions and comments from a lovely woman sitting to my left, who has been to the Panzers a few times before, but is new to me. She now wants to know all about Dave Carter - how he died, and old he was. The artists are tuning, as I hurriedly whisper I compress facts - I say 50 yrs (which is almost right, he was 49 but almost 50) and massive heart attack jogging (which is also almost right, I think his heart attack was right after jogging), and then add, that he had just toured with Joan Baez. I think but don't add that I heard they were exhausted whirlwind touring, in a year when everything was breaking for them and they were just making it "big". I realized that she doesn't know it is not "he" but "they" and write down the URL for the Dave and Tracy web site and give it to her, hoping since she is interested that she will find information about David's life partner who is continuing to sing and tour, Tracy Grammer.
The Current Hollow Piece of Sky - this is not something LisaBeth intended to write about. She wrote it on 9/12/02 - one year and one day after 9/11. Another loud sigh from some audience member.
Jump Right In - There's a Window they call Opportunity - a new song. A front row helper holds a paper with the words up for LisaBeth, though LisaBeth "knows some of it by heart".
I find this song very lively folk wisdom, and quite fun.
Steve comes up to introduce Vance, and tells us that the Baltimore Sun is here taking pictures. Why do the Panzers do this concert series? Frankly because they couldn't get talent like this to sing in their living room without the audience! Introducing Vance, Steve says even if Vance doesn't sing we'll still have a good time. I think people must be wondering what he means.
Steve, about the Baltimore Sun. Ok, US News and World Report , and Southwest Airlines Magazine did articles on the Panzer house concerts, but after the local paper, Columbia Flyer, did one, it started getting harder to reserve a seat in your house. Larger local and national media are catching on to house concert story. You book performers 2 years in advance, but as audience, we'll need yearly subscriptions to get in if interest picks up much more.
Vance tells us why he likes house concerts - something about wardrobe options, and the distance from his room to the concert hall.
The couple in the front row who held the words up for LisaBeth tell Vance that they saw him in Massachusetts at the tandem bicycle event. Vance has some things to say about tandem bicycles, and then turns to reflect on the couple. They saw him before and still choose to sit in the front row? This should be a clue to the audience, about what is to come.
See complete lyrics to most of Vance's songs on his web page at: http://www.vancegilbert.com/music.shtml
Unfamiliar Moon - he has so much passion the woman next to me murmurs.
Why Are We So Cruel
A woman with red hair in the first row is looking up with her head bent back since she is short and sitting. and Vance, standing in front of her, is so tall. She does not move from this position except at the break. Maybe she is very flexible and will not have a stiff neck tomorrow..
Eliza Jane - OK as this song ends Vance morphs into singing another song. When he stops singing, he gets a question.
What happens to Eliza Jane someone yells out. Is this an innocent Vance newbie? Someone so pulled into the story they are afraid that he hasn't finished the song?
Folks this is not a concert where you can sit passively and view the performer. What is it with Vance I keep wondering? I find myself writing on my set list notes that he is up there like a Folk Music Prince, commanding the room. Is this accurate? His larger than life presence and larger than life voice take us where he goes. (On a dare he later does a song a capella and the room hums, dances and survives). The passion he emotes in song and word bounces off the walls, vibrates within us, and carries us up, down and sideways. It is not emotional whiplash; I would not say that because I don't like roller coasters and this is not harsh or overly jarring. This is an impossible concert to comment on; it is beyond comment. My head is spinning so, I miss the running joke about the number of therapists in the room. And I will not even begin to comment on that whole thing about your nephew's picture sent through email.
We think we are audience but to Vance we are the show, we have what he will create with. Don't speak up at his show if you don't want to become part of the act. So the innocent questioner gets a response that becomes a rant, expanding to include speculations on black folks at a folk concert, and references to Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell and how it is to live in a world run by black republicans. But then Vance exclaims he has never seen a more racially integrated folk audience. In addition to an unusual black representation in this folk audience, there are even Asian looking people sitting in the back, and this is in Jewish people's home. Metaphors flow like a river in Vance's rants. Rants - I am not sure that is the right word, but what else can I call them? Anyway this part ends with the vision of something about race sinking into the sea.
Takin It All to Tennesee - OK, every one who has seen Vance before knows this story. Through folk music Vance met Ellis Paul, a friend Vance can say anything to and not be judged, a rare male friendship. But when Ellis decided to move to Tennessee, Vance got mad, and as folks at this show know by now, when you provoke Vance a storm of passionate creative energy will flow your way. Ok, Vance would say it is loving and passionate energy.
And I do think to truly see others in the moment and dialog in the moment is the most profoundly loving thing humans do. A Vance dialog is totally engaging. But this concert is not for those who hope to sit as observers with their feelings checked at the door. This man opens his heart and his passion and demands a response. This audience is open and responsive and having a great time.
You Can Go Now - The story with Ellis Paul continues. Ellis wrote and recorded a song about knowing Vance, and Taking It All to Tennessee was Vance's fair quid pro quo (these are my words - he said it differently). But he asked that they take a moratorium on songs about each other - until Ellis, who had moved back to Boston, then decided to move to Maine, a fairly "white" state, and a house so large Vance got lost in it. So this is a song about not writing a song (yeah, the woman beside me says, like Jerry Steinfeld, writing a show about nothing)
Listening to this song, for once the room is totally still and quiet.
Pablo's Lights -
At times I know another word is coming in the song, and I am on the edge of my seat anticipating it.
OK - Vance says it is break time, he calls it community time. But not quite.
Reba tells him she'll see him in New Bedford this coming weekend, and he goes off on how some big name performer got famous for forgetting gigs and not showing up.
He warns people sitting next to Vic and Reba that they sitting next to "dyed in the wool folkies". But then he starts in about people who like jazz and Miles Davis. I can't write about what comes next. I hope the Baltimore Sun reporter has more skill then I do in covering this evening. Vance's singing, all his expressions in song, thought and word, have a stream of consciousness quality at times. Like where is this man going, and what personality will emerge in the next sentence, in the next phrase? Did I hear Gollum from the Lord of the Rings? And then, he is singing again to show he knows how to do jazz or what is it? (I confess I am jazz illiterate).
BREAK and ANNOUCEMENTS
I talk to man who has a blog on woodworking, and his son has a blog on knowledge management and music. I hope he sends me their urls. He tells me his site has titles and built in indexed search - options I need. Their blogs are on Radio (http://radio.userland.com/), a better software in some ways then the free/easy one I am using from Blogger a subsidiary of Google (http://www.blogger.com/about.pyra) . My dream is to learn enough to move to Movable Type which is full-functioned but for techies (http://www.movabletype.org/) I have so much to learn.
After the break, there are announcement first. The 3rd annual Susquehanna Music and Folk Festival near Havre de Grace will be Mother's day weekend in 2004.
The Falcon Ridge Folk Festival is July 24 to 27, 2003 in the Berkshires in east-central New York State. The couple in the front row who Vance teased gets the give-away pair of tickets. They seem excited. Vance will be there (as usual) along with so many other great performers.
There are so many other venues in this area. I space out during the announcements. I am already aware of more concerts than I can attend. I used to complain about nights when I want to be 4 places at once (like the 4 enticing concert options on Friday 7/18, and the 3 plus on Sat, 7/19) From my higher self, I am now trying to be grateful that there are so many options we can all go somewhere on a Friday or Saturday night; venues do have space limits. But my lower self is still selfish and unhappy when I have to make difficult choices. And then there are the wonderful options on nights like Wednesdays at Vic's Music Corner and/or Baldwin's when I have work the next day! Can I keep an attitude of gratitude?
VANCE's SECOND SET -
I think he is going to start, but he doesn't. People around me let me know that Vance is staring at me! He notices I was writing a set list and he accuses me of taking down all his best stuff. "Vance, like I am really going to be able to capture what you are saying and then go perform. I am a shy writer, just pure fan, and people would pay for me to not sing." This is what I would say, if I could think fast. Instead I must be turning very red (which happens from time to time at this stage in my life), and Vance asks people around me to fan me.
Icarus by Night
A song whose name I missed
Charleen - I have heard this song before, but I literally feel a chill at the end of this song. A song couldn't get more serious.
There is more talk. Vance thinks the term folk career is an oxymoron, but admits to such middle class pursuits now as walking a large poodle, and a particular kind of lawn mowing. He acknowledges David Wilcox, as an inspiration for years and a friend, a musician who in attending this concert is on a "busman's holiday", one of the great acoustic songwriters of all time, and finally as kind of like John Gorka but taller. Yes Vance, you are so generous to other performers.
David Wilcox sits in front of me after Vance comes on and is decidedly learning forward the whole show. I sense David is really into this show too. There may be a mutual admiration society between these 2 great, mesmerizing performers. At some point Vance sort of sings/mimics David's song Eye of the Hurricane.
On the way out, the woman to my left tells Vance, I was so relieved when you sang, because when you talked I was just exhausted from laughing so hard. Vance seems pleased to hear this. Vance says he didn't know this evening was going to be so funny. Like somehow he thought somehow he was going to do a serious folk show and just sing his songs?
Is this fun too much of a good time, setting the bar too high for first-timers? One friend of a friend tells me her friend said "she says she loved the concert and said any more she would go to could never measure up!!!!"
He is reflecting on TV shows when he was growing up, and his father's TV habits. How does Vance remember the details he does, including the names of various show, their weekday and time slots? And Vance I do agree that you are funnier than Eddie Murphy ever was.
Waiting for Gilligan.
Vance acknowledges other performers in the audience - Cindy a great cellist, and
Patty Prasada-Rao, Tom Prasada-Rao's sister, and a wonderful performer in her own right.
The joking with audience goes on. Vance teases us about wanting to keep him away from our daughters, and some woman boldly observes: "You could help me make a daughter." There is silence. David Wilcox observes this is probably the first time ever that Vance has been speechless.
Which woman said that? Sounded like someone sitting across the aisle from me. Surely not my co-worker, or the woman from my meditation class. Surely not the woman wearing a Vance Gilbert tee shirt from one his shows 11 years ago. Maybe someone else, maybe from a few rows behind them.
Ten Thousand Skies - a new song
Let Me Know - Well Vance saves my favorite song for last. This songs decides me, I have to have his new CD.
I know my close friend came tonight because she was moved by the relatively short and subdued set she saw Vance do in a workshop stage at the Susquenhanna Arts and Music Festival . I wonder what she thinks about tonight and she tells me, "Vance Gilbert is quite an experience. It was refreshing to laugh so hard and enjoy good music at the same time."
As I wait in line to get my CD signed, I see the Panzer living room being transformed back. Chairs are folded and stacked away, and pieces of furniture return to traditional living room places.
What happened here between the profound, deep words and feelings from Vance's songs, and then the rib-splitting laughter? Was I here totally? Is this what now is?
I also find that reflecting, journaling about the event is, like the event itself, a helpful spiritual discipline. Can transcendence only happen in the now? Was I totally present in the now moment last night? Does that make LisaBeth and Vance my gurus? And the incredible audience - can a group be a guru, or just, as Vance said, a community? What can I learn from LisaBeth about heart? What can I learn from Vance about being human, being so full within myself, that I spillover? What can I learn about a force of character that draws others into a dialog about passions, love and fears which really all come from the same human experience ocean? And my own responses, are they teaching me?
My vow today - to write less, contemplating, less is more.
Monday, June 30, 2003
ELIOT BRONSON at the Jammin Java on Friday June 27
With my eyes closed I ride in the car listening to Eliot's CD. As the his song "Tomorrow" plays I dreamily think how I blogged Eliot's words "this is a song about being here now, this is called "Tomorrow" But I come into present awareness that the car isn't moving. Could we be in stop and go traffic in Virginia already? I sit up to see where we are and it is the Maryland Beltway, not yet Virginia. As I sit up, David says "look" and there is Eliot in the lane to our right smiling and waving to us. I am instantly awake and excited and he is gone, his lane is moving.
David says he heard Lea will be there tonight accompanying Eliot. Great but I want to pass Eliot and wave again. Why are we in the left lane? David says Eliot's lane will slow up ahead and we should pass him again, but we don't. This is a first, I have never seen a performer on the road before!
At the Jammin Java, we see Eliot but no Lea. We say hi again and then he greets two other fans warmly and leaves. They turn out to be Laura and Barb, sort of late 20's young women, from NC near Duke. They are on their way to New York City and came here to see Eliot in Virginia on the way up to New York. I am so intrigued and I ask lots of questions. How did you meet Eliot. Well Laura has been going to house concerts for a while. She asked Barb to a concert with Christopher Williams, and Brian Joseph opened. So then Barb hosted a show for Brian Joseph, a "house" concert at a local YMCA. The YMCA? Well their friend is a caterer and he works from the YMCA, and he did some food for the concert. So, Brian Joseph called a week before and said "do you mind if I bring another musician with me, his name is Eliot Bronson." Eliot came and it was a fabulous night and they had lots of fun. Mary Sue Twohy http://www.marysuetwohy.com/ was there and also Melanie Hersch.
I ask, what more can they say? "You kind of find ones like Eliot that just stick". "And he's cute." They advise me, if you base your musical tastes on what you hear on the radio, you won't find people like Eliot Bronson and Christopher Williams. "We have the Six String Cafe" in Cary, NC http://www.sixstringcafe.com/top_nn4.html which is a great venue for singer-songers, a real listening room." Iam enchanted listening to these lovely young women.
Eliot's parents are here too. We see some other fans we know from other concerts. They tell us someone is taking pictures of Eliot tonight and I see a man with an impressive camera but fail to connect to find out is I can get copies.
Eliot is waiting outside for Lea. She arrives soon. Wow, she has some great shows of her own coming up. I would like to see her at the Ridge House Concerts on 7/18 but there are 3 other incredible music events that night so it will be a hard choice. Eliot and Lea tell us they are probably on after the break.
I have started talking about Eliot, and he is why we are here, so I am going to write up his set list first, even though he came second.
At the break, a birthday cake I had ordered for David is here, and David and I and our new friend Laura cut and deliver cake to all the cake eaters in the crowd.
ABOUT THE JAMMIN JAVA
The Jammin Java http://www.jamminjava.com/ is a local area treasure for music lovers. lt is a coffee shop in the front, and in the back a music hall which the web site describes as "Capacity is 180 per show. High-end sound, light system" Upstairs is a music school, and to the left is a recording studio. It is an incredible place. Local musicians and fans love it! It is owned by musicians who really care and bring in great talent.
As a fan there is there is one minor quibble for me. I crave a listening room, and this one is 98%. The sound system is great. We can hear Eliot very very well. However, when there are a great number of people congregating in the food area at the front, I can hear some voices from that area, even in the back. Some people may not even notice it. It does not drown out the sound system. But I want to do and say "hush" don't you know who is singing back here? With the split bill, I think some of the fans from the first set are part of the noise from the food area when Eliot opens. It isn't throughout Eliot's entire set. John Austin and Erin Echo, the performers in the fist set, do stay and listen to Eliot, and talk with Eliot and Lea afterwards.
Woolen Socks - Lea's harmonizing is great as usual.
Eliot suggests the crowd sing Happy Birthday to David - he notes that we have cake (and he doesn't. But he can have some after he performs).
Songs that I Can't Sing - solo. This is another song I never tire of hearing .
Lea harmonizes again on You Can't See Yourself in These Songs
Eliot says his new CD will be out this year, hopefully by August. The last song is one of the new ones and so is this new one. He sings with Lea "I'm not the man you think I am"
Eliot was from Baltimore (some here in Virginia may not know that).
He sings (solo) - Back in my old town
In his parents house, Eliot used to write songs in the bathroom - it has great acoustics. After his lease was up in Baltimore, he had a month before moving to Massachusetts where he is now, so he visited home for that month. He wrote this song there:
Everybody wants to know your name (with Lea)
Gone without warning the light of the day - you hear yourself calling yourself, from far away - this is so haunting..
Another Tourist - lively. I want to hear this again, and again.
This song is for Eliot's brother Sam, You are Old - like cathedral pines
There is a request for "Fences". Eliot says his songs have a way about turning from one topic into something else. But this song might have something to do with an ideas of the sacred - where is it, is it out there?
I don't know what to say about this song. This song talks about coming to know who I am, and where I fit in the scheme of things. Am I finding myself in this way now when I am many decades older than Eliot? How does Eliot know how to ask these questions? Maybe we cycle through and discover and rediscover such things at different levels. And as a 20 something I was so clueless about life. I am so in awe of this song and it's author.
Big Cookie Cutter - with Lea. Eliot's sing a long hit.
Guru - an almost true story. At first I thought this was shocking. Now it is fun. Is it a folk song? Well is it a true story? Anyway, your girlfriends may have another guru, but you are surely one of my guru's. Along with Vance Gilbert. To understand this, see my next post about seeing Vance on 6/29/03. Your incredible songs have opened so many things for me, and contributed to some little understanding of what you and Vance and others are saying, doing, being. Namaste.
FIRST SET - John Austin http://www.pastemusic.com/johnaustin and Erin Ehco Austin with DC music veteran Bill Campbell on guitar.
Earlier in the day I check out the PASTE record's web page on John Austin to see who is appearing with Eliot. Since I am so impressed with Pierce Pettis (another PASTE artist), any associations with this label peeks my interest. I read the story of how John Austin was beaten up by a Chicago street gang, has a long recovery from injury to his arm, and produces a new album. I compare the songs online (PASTE makes complete MP3's available for a a few selected songs per album.) - the old and the new. I am intrigued, especially by the new album songs.
A friendly woman behind me tells me that John's parents are here. She tells me that his parents are from Chantilly VA, where John grew up and lots of people know him still. He is married to Erin and Echo her real middle name, not just a stage name. They met in college in Pennsylvania. Erin sang at Lilith Faire. When introduced I think John tells us they now live in Georgia.
SET LIST (some guesses on song titles)
Only the Strong will Survive
When the Money is Good, I Don't Mind Workin
Busted at the Pearly Gates
What would you give for a moment of silence
If I Was a Latin King - This is after the attack by the gang the Latin Kings. John asked himself what if I were a Latin King. I don't experience this song as angry. My surprise if find this song haunting, with pain, and a wistful feeling. I would like to hear it again.
Fuzzy Dice - the name of another neighborhood character, and some reflection on types of luck
These Things Take Time
And for the Encore the crowd wants to hear Erin sing lead so she sings Moonlight
I am thinking John is very intense, and then Erin even mentions how intense he is. Some of the sound (with Bill Campbell's back up) is a little loud (for me). It becomes something I must get past to get into the music, and when I do it is OK (as in I love Bruce Springsteen, and Bruce Cockburn. I find some of these songs gripping. I am not familiar with the words. Some are, as I said, haunting and with great images, like If I Was A Latin King. What kind of social comment is in these songs? This artist I sense has a lot to say. I really like the way he says it in If I Were a Latin King and I need to hear more. His loyal fans in the crowd are so pleased with the show.