Saturday, October 18, 2003
Naked Blue and Danzig and Woolley at Panzer House Concert - September 28, 2003
Tonight the Panzer House Concerts present two very talented couples.
Naked Blue are Jennifer and Scott Smith and in this pair Jen sings the lead vocal and her partner Scott backs her up. Sherry and Steve met Naked Blue at the North East Folk Alliance (NERFA) in about 1999 and have been trying to get them here since then. Their sets include (and I am not sure of the titles always so I use phrases or first lines):
It's Just the Way that you Love Me
Tonight we will love like never before
Shame shame on me
He was the king of understanding - this song is dedicated to divorced men in the audience
Never Come Back - this is not autobiographical, it is a song inspired by Forest Gump
I'll Always be Just Another Ordinary Girl - this song was in a bunch of TV shows (they wish Faith Hill would cover it, and my husband, a country music fan, agrees it would be great for her.) - but on TV repeats you might catch it on the Young and the Restless or the Smokers on cable.
Welcome Home Where ever You've Been
I can't find you anymore, but I'll meet you at Christmas - a song about a sister, about wanting to have a heart connection with a relative you see, but where are they really? Can anyone with a sibling relate to this song? Really!
For You - you make me feel extraordinary
Innocense Is Precious
Be careful what you wish for - you might just get it - amen amen allelluia are part of the audience sing along
Pink Hat - This Naked Blue hit sounding song includes the words - "I can Fly" - about hope, life and career. Is a free MP3 download from the Washington Post MP3 site.
Danzig and Woolley - are a duo we saw and loved at the May Susquehanna Folk Festival (near Havre de Grace Md ) - Kevin Danzig and Cat Woolley are another married couple who tour quite a bit, possibly based in North Carolina but mostly everywhere. In this duo Kevin Danzig is the lead vocalist. There are some quirky musicians on the singer-songwriter circuits but this couple self-describes their act as "dysfunctional folk", and make a career out of celebrating the quirky in themselves (and in all of us). They will be at Annapolis's First Night this year. (oh already a conflict for New Year's Eve since We're About Nine, Lea and DaVinci's Notebook etc, will be at the Alexandria First Night) - there is lots of fun percussion on these songs:
Crazy in Love - a dysfunctional love song. Cat is playing the mandolin.
I Remember the Roar of the Aging Troubadour - a rock singer trapped in a folk society bodyâ€¦ (I smile as I hear this song about a folk singer trapped in his past - aren't we all?)
My imaginary friend and I - it looks like Cat is playing a xylophone but she tells me afterward it is called the Two Octave Bells
Heydee what's knocking song - obviously a car song
Fish Bowl - ok for this song and many in their set Kevin Danzig steps on the side of a tambourine.
Indigo Blue - is the color she is wearing
Folk Rap Song - a capella but with drumming on the back of the guitar
Do you know what love is? - Cat gives most of us in the audience "shakers" -water bottles filled not with water but with an inch of rice at the bottom - what fun! Could we stock these free shakers at all the house concerts? Maybe they don't fit for all songs but it is fun to add to the percussion on this song - yes even I can make music (with a shaker).
Francine's down so down, she's daddy's little girl - she misses her daddy big time!
One day you're gonna love me for 100 yrs - ok maybe the fortune teller is just an educated guesser!
Why oh why oh - about a kid who loves his first car and there is only one thing he wants more - this is an audience sing-along
Communion - is it a barefoot bum who is sharing water that is like wine and bread? "there was something in his eyes"
Troubador - Kevin and Cat add in lyrics about the adoring fans at the Panzer house concert, Steve, Sherry - we are all in this version - this is so much fan!
Contrasts tonight: A local couple who has songs on well known national TV shows and she is the lead vocal. Another couple who travel so much maybe they aren't local anywhere, with a male lead singer who visits the dysfunctional perspective and both play lots of fun percussive instruments. Hopeful whimsical close harmonies all.
You must know, I am so not impartial. The Panzer House is the first house concert I ever attended, and I still tell everyone it is the best in this area. I walk in each time thinking this Panzer show can't match or top the last one - and I am always pleasantly surprised to be wrong. There is no ho-hum here. I hate to miss a show. The 10-25-03 Panzer show has Diane Ziegler. I saw her some years ago and was so looking forward to seeing her again. And also Justin Roth - Sherry says "If you close your eyes Justin's guitar playing could be Peter Mayer...in other words, incredible. We'll be hearing alot more of Justin in the coming years. This is his first east coast tour." I saw him at this year's Falcon Ridge Folk Festival and so want to see him again soon. But I have a ticket to see Joan Baez - legendary folk singer whose new CD is covers of songs written by the kind of contemporary singer-songwriters who come to the Panzer's and similar venues.
And although I have a reservation for the 11-21 Panzer concert with the incredible David Roth, if I go I will miss seeing Lori Kelley and Carey Creed at the 333 Coffeehouse in Annapolis that night! But enough about me. And as reservations at the Panzers are filling up earlier and earlier and most shows have waiting lists, please forget everything I said about this venue, and definitely don't tell your friends!
P.S. if you don't have a Joan Baez ticket, you can still see her for free on 10-25 at Borders at White Flint Mall, Kensington Md . Their web site says: Joan Baez October 25, 2003 2:00 PM - Join us as legendary performer Joan Baez performs songs from and signs her new CD, Dark Chords From a Big Guitar.
Wednesday, October 15, 2003
Jack Williams and Cliff Eberhardt on September 27, 2003 at Moore Music in the House, Rockville MD
Scott Moore presented Cliff Eberhardt as the feature on a "demented" Valentine's day show at The Moore Music in the House shows about 5 years ago. (Scott: "demented" because Cliff writes maybe too eloquently about unrequited love?) Anyway, as Scott says, Cliff lives in Massachusetts and has toured with the likes of Christine Lavin , Patty Larkin and John Gorka.
Always of interest at Scott's is the background for the "stage" in his basement. This time there is a brown abstract design backdrop. I miss the more colorful ones you can see in the back of pictures from former shows.
Cliff's set includes:
Yankee - Cliff gives us the Yankee view of the South. When he traveled there recently, a tour guide who confided she is a lifelong Elvis fan asked where Cliff was from. When he said, Masschusetts, she said "oh bless your heart". Cliff implies this is the polite Southern equivalent of you are going to hell. That is not what Cliff literally says, however "oh bless your heart" become very very funny this evening.
You Always Say You Love me, every time you break my heart - Cliff calls this his co-dependent country blues song
Joey's Arms - A reporter once wrote that Cliff was singing about himself in this song, and he tells us he had to immediately assure his mom the reporter was wrong. Another reporter once wrote that singer song-writers write about their own sad miserable lives. It is not true, Cliff says, I write about your sad miserable life. (Someone's anyway. This songs nails addiction. As an addict - not to drugs/alcohol but to more middle class socially acceptable addictions- I find this song rings uncomfortably true.)
Land of the Free - "only in heaven, there are no borders"
I'm Goin Down to Sugartown, maybe we'll fall in love- great slide guitar on this, wow!
Love Slips Away - Cliff, a positive song about telling folks you love them while you can, still has that possibility/ probably of loss in the title!
In introducing Jack Williams, Scott Moore invites us to view the evening as a postgraduate course in master guitar playing. Professor Eberhardt gives us the Northern Style, and Jack Williams presents the Southern Gentleman Style.
Jack retorts that Cliff Eberhardt is the most delightful Yankee he has ever met. But he intends to celebrate the Southern man, reminding us of great Southerns like Woodie Guthrie and Josh White. Jack considers house concerts the ultimate folk venue, and like a true Southerner has a sense of history about this. He tells us the Leadbelly and Woodie Guthrie did a house concert in 1946. Jack's set includes:
Natural Man - "Josh White got the gift of song, but he never saw the promised land"
Across the Winterline the winterline - a place that lives in myth and before and after truth, and is it too late for love? - how to cross the line - that winterline...
The Old Buckdancer's Gone Jack sings this song he wrote when James Dickey died . James DIckey wrote the novel Deliverance and some wonderful poetry. Like Faulkner he was a mix of redneck and scholar; Dickey lived imperfectly and wrote beautifully.
How much better can the sun beat down? It brings a fever...the heat will make a beast of me yet... (In this basement room we feel the fall humidity. It is not a summer heat though, until Jack evokes it in this song.)
Walkin Dreams Jack talks about having no answer when people ask what does this song mean? (Jack it may be too brusque for you to say this, but my answer is: breathe deeply and listen with your heart. This song-poem is about our times, past explanations.)
Sometime before the break, Jack tells us its his first time to perform with Cliff Eberhardt, a great American songwriter and guitar player, even if he is a Yankee...God bless his little heart. In announcing the break, Scott challenges us to use the time writing a two-page essay comparing and contrasting the two singer-songwriters. Well Scott, we have the Yankee who is skeptical and sort of afraid of the South, and the Southerner who teases the Yankee, loves the best of the South and knows what the South is and what it could be (if/when it lives up to its lofty ideals.). Ok - maybe I'm reading in all my own stereotypes from history 101. In Cliff we have the man who knows quite a bit about losing love, unrequited love, and the dark side (songs of good and evil). And in Jack, a man of optimism, gentle humor, whimsy and caring, the care to look evil in the eye and still care kind of caring.
Jack William's set starts first:
You're the one
Tonight there is no border This is a song about the Southwest. Texas is one of the least understood States; it is about 6 States (yes this sounds right.) Jack takes us to a moment in time, evoking the sights. sounds, and and feel of the night and border on the Rio Grande.
This Moment is Mine - a runaway slave speaks - I watch the stars, I watch the signs
Mr. Cherry - damn your soul - was God nearby? Some thoughtful angry words about the Birmingham church bombing.
Coyote - The trickster god who leads you out to where you need to be.
Cliff Eberhardt's set:
What I Gonna Do
All I can see is you
Whenever I sing the blues
That Kind of Love - (Oh, oh it is steamy hearing this. At the break, singer-songwriter and Cliff Eberhardt fan Eliot Bronson exaggerated that this is "folk sauna" night, but it is not the room temperature that is turning up the heat now!)
I know what Happiness is (this is NOT the bite me song) - though it is maybe a jaunty little melody with a demented twist
Goodnight - I hope if you dream you have a dream of me (Scott tells me Cliff wrote this when he was 18. Oh I think, another prodigy, like Baltimore's young Eliot Bronson!)
A fast and furious pun exchange between Cliff and a guy in the audience about bowling and lots of other things leads Scott Moore to announce that anyone who buys a Cliff Eberhardt CD also get a free bowling game (not!).
And at one point Cliff's humor got so raucous, after the show Debra Shapiro said "there should be a show with Vance Gilbert and Cliff Eberhardt, but that show would require frequent bathroom breaks, otherwise we would all pee in our pants from laughing so much".
It is late when we left the Moore's. Either Cliff Eberhart or Jack Williams is a full evening. So we left rich with 2 evenings worth of song, wisdom and humor. M o o o re Music - YES!