Sunday, August 14, 2005
Erik Balkey and the Malvinas at the Panzer House Concert, 8-13-05

Since doors open at the Panzers at 6:30pm for the 7 pm. show, we walk in at 6:30 to reserve good seats. Erik Balkey greets us with "I thought I'd see you guys here". I forget to tell Erik how much I love his Songwriter's Tour Guide, like a super songwriter blog.

We meet friends who are going to Kerrville's September concert. Oh they'll get to see Erik Balkey there.

The Kerrville site says Erik was a 2005 Kerrville New Folk Winner. Steve probably mentions this when he introduces Erik but I must not be paying attention. Of course this is only the most recent of many awards Erik's won.

Erik's soft opening hushes the last minute drink clatter in the kitchen as he begins with: Someone to Call (before I go to bed)

Erik assures us (and Mom) that he write fictional songs. Unlike the character in Someone to Call he does not have a 3 year old child. But he implies that the next song about lost love may have some truth

Like Billy the Kid
- the love thief

Then he takes us to an even darker side of town, with a new song about learning those things you couldn't learn anywhere else, At the: Carnival of the Church of the Sacred Heart - where there is gambling, all kinds of mischief and romance.

"I Love…The Place that I Call Home, I love my country …but don't send my brother into war…God bless my country, mercy on me" - yes, Erik, Mercy…

God's Poet Now - Erik dedicates this song to the subject of the song, Dave Carter, a mystical magical poet singer who rose meteorically in the folk world and then tragically died of a heart attack at age 49 in 2002, and also to the incredibly beautiful and lyrical Rachel Bissex who died of breast cancer 2-20-05. Erik mentioned the Rachel Bissex Tribute CD (which some of us in the audience already have) and which is available here.

Steve and Sherry give a copy of the Rachel Bissex Tribute CD to the 2 audience members whose birthdays are closest to the date of this concert. There is a tie and both win!

I saw last saw Erik July 8th at the West Side Café where he played the whole show. He has so many more great songs to sing; this opening set are just a few to whet my taste for more. Luckily he is going to be sole performer at the Dawson's House concert in Silver Spring Md on 11-5-05. I must email Gene soon at: dawsonconcerts at - to make a reservation.

Next up are the Panzer's feature act, The Malvinas. Steve Key has already blogged about how great they were at the show at Shella's last Thursday night.- a show I missed. See his 8-11-05 posting here.

But I already know from last night in Takoma Park that I adore Gina Forsythe's mean New Orleans fiddle. What blows me away this evening is the combination of Gina's fiddle, Beth Cahill's mandolin and Lisa Markley's guitar. I don't care if Beth says the mandolin doesn't stay in tune and that Lisa's banjo got left behind on this tour (though it is even harder to tune.) This is some rousing musical trio. With an attitude. As they say "angst rocks".

Ordinary Blues - "I'm average but I got cool shoes"

My Name is (Mud) … " I am in love"

They sing of the goddess and Catholic saints. St. Anthony of the Lost and Found - this songs transports!

Then they explain that Eve was framed in Eve Takes the Fall.

More love angst in "He Never Loved Me"

"If this is the Worst that Can Happen" - about another couple breaking up

Perihelic Opposition of Mars - about closeness and distance and longing, inspired by reflection on the proximity of planets

Sweet and Sunny South
- home of the Dukes of Hazard and other characters

My partner murmurs, that guitar has only 4 strings. A few minutes later they explain. The guitar is a 1965 Gibson tenor guitar and it is only supposed to have 4 strings, it is not missing strings. It is the kind used by the Kingston Trio , and it is tuned in fifths (like the fiddle)

Sister Mary Lou - "good-by heart"

Waltz of the Rear View Mirro
r - listening to this I feel hypnotized - I love Beth's sparkling eyes.

"I crossed the ocean once or twice"

Eastward Bound - gorgeous gorgeous lyrics inspired by the fall of the space shuttle over Texas… how is it that I feel beauty, sharp painful beauty in their glorious deaths - "you can wrap me in wind and fire and still I'm not coming down'

What's Wrong with Trying - another life affirming "holding on tight" song

And more talk this night about their inspiration Malvina Reynolds. I find tonight she also wrote "God bless the Grass". The lyrics on the web show this song is about grass growing through concrete, and include the analogy between grass and truth - "God bless the truth That fights towards the sun". And Malvina inspires us all as we age since she started playing the guitar at 60.

The Malvinas play a short set at the West Side Café in Frederick on Sunday night, 8-14-05. Alexandria, Takoma Park, Columbia and Frederick - 4 nights in a row in this area!

I regret I won't make it to Frederick on Sunday. I only caught 2 shows this time; next time can I make it 3?

And why didn't the Malvinas mention Lisa Markley and the Malvinas are featured in Subaru's Drive Magazine. I get this magazine! Great article!

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