Sam Phillips - Live at Borders in Hollywood It's been a year since I last saw Sam Phillips live and with the new CD being released today, the anticipation was almost overwhelming. At exactly 7pm Sam and Eric Gorfain came out to the top of the stairs inside the store where they had created a makeshift stage and the show was on. With a good 50 to 60 people in attendance, the area was packed. I was a little concerned about how they were going to perform these drum heavy songs, but with Eric switching between violin and electric guitar, the essence of the songs showed through. They opened with "Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us" and let me tell you, if you've been listening to the Plant/Krauss version, you're listening to the wrong one.
This was a nice safe start, since she has been performing this song for a couple of years with and without drums. "Little Plastic Life" also fit very nicely as a duo. But how would "No Explanations" do? That song has Jay's drumming all over it. Turns out, it didn't really need it. Eric switched to electric guitar and it continued to have the edge that makes it such a powerful song. Sam sang beautifully throughout the show and Eric's violin was the perfect compliment. She had a few problems with her guitar (it was their first show) but that was the only blemish to a perfect if not short (30 minutes) evening. Okay, there was the aborted attempt to perform "Can't Come Down", but even that problem turned into a fun moment for everyone. Sam was in great spirits, introducing herself, as usual, and also welcoming shoppers to Borders as they walked by her in between songs. This is going to be so much fun watching this show grow and develop over the next few months. After the show was almost as much fun. We ran in to Lynne and caught up. Vickie came out from Costa Mesa to see the show. Thanks Vickie! She bought a CD too. I ran into Kristy Hanson and Mike Chiaburu. Mike produced Kristy's latest CD (do check it out at http://myspace.com/kristyhanson ) and will be performing this Sunday at Sundays on Sunset @ Libertine at 8210 Sunset Blvd (8pm and only $5!). I've never actually met either of them before, but several months ago, Mike saw my picture on Myspace and recognized me from some Sam shows. He sent me Kristy's CD which I really liked. Tonight I was trying to get by him when he stopped me. The two of them are so unassuming. And when you've just spent the last couple of hours watching people in Hollywood, unassuming is way off from the norm. I chatted with Eric for awhile (it wasn't the Dodger's night) and finally got a chance to say hi to Sam. She signed autographs for close to an hour, because, as those of you who have met her know, she really enjoys meeting people and she treats you as if there is no one else in line. She finally met Maria (who loved her) and recognized that it was Maria who yelled out "Obama" when Sam asked what the score was. That's my Maria. If you're in L.A., don't forget, Sam will be playing the new Largo on the 26th of this month. And for the rest of you, check Sam's Border's tour schedule at her website http://www.samphillips.com .