Friday, May 13, 2005

Shawn Colvin Live at the Coach House

“I hope you like women with guitars” said Brook Ramel part way through her set last night. Luckily we do, ‘cause that is what we got. Brook, along with Brandi Carlisle gave excellent performances; but the night belonged to Shawn, who hasn’t been to Southern California in a few years. “When was I last here?” Shawn asked. “A couple of years ago. You went to Disneyland”, I said (notice I didn’t say yelled? You don’t need to yell when you are within speaking distance ::::big grin:::: ). “I went to Disneyland? Oh yeah I did. Well my daughter is 7 now and…”. And that led to a story about her daughter farting in a Chinese restaurant. The good old Shawn is back, telling wonderfully new stories and singing her songs with a love that hasn’t been there for the last few years.

But Shawn was a bit distracted. You could tell when she first came out and hadn’t even decided what her first song was going to be. Shawn is one of the few artists with the talent and guts to go on stage without a set list. But usually she at least knows what she wants to start with. After a couple of songs she was sort of fumbling around and I said, “Tell us a story”. “Okay. I wasn’t going to tell you this one but…” And then she proceeded to tell us the story of her accident that she had that day. It was her little Ford rental going full force into a Korean woman’s Volvo. Shawn lost, with airbags exploding and, well… She had us in stitches, which luckily for her she wasn’t in. But you could see that some pain was starting to settle in. This may have been the reason for her sitting on a stool throughout the show. And that is all I really need to say about this show. The beauty of a Shawn Colvin concert is that you never know what songs she is going to play (because she doesn’t) and she’s always got great stories to tell you. Her voice is always so beautiful and she is such a good guitar player; even if she denies it (“Please turn down the monitors for my guitar, I don’t want to hear all of my mistakes”).

There were actually very few covers last night. She opened with a Chris Whitley song and did a few other standards: The best of which was probably Merle Haggard’s “White Line Fever”. She seems much happier with herself and her music these days. We only got one new song from the album she is working on though. It sounded good and it will be so nice to have new Colvin material to listen to, someday.

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