Monday, March 10, 2008

Isaac Himmelman and father at McCabe's

Peter Himmelman has something like 17 albums out (Those are his words, so I may be way off... But there are plenty of them) and tonight was my first full PH show (I saw him at a benefit a few years ago). Shame on me! PeterHimmelman is amazing. He's an original. He is funny, smart, a great guitar player, funny, a brilliant songwriter and did I mention how funny he is? The laughing started before the first note was played. He commanded Daniel, his piano player, to pick a song and when he offers one up, Peter calls it a bad opening song. He then realizes that the only way to open with this song is to have the piano playing as he comes down the stares. So he goes up and then comes down the stairs and goes to pick up his guitar, but it is stuck to the stand. So back up the stairs and he starts all over. Meanwhile, we are already dying of laughter. From that point on it is great songs and out and out lies that you so want to believe because he delivers them with such sincerity. But when Peter tells his son Isaac that he, Isaac, hasn't written a really great love song yet because he hasn't met the right woman, like his mom, you believe him completely. As my Maria noted, this is a truly happy man. And you can see that. He loves being on stage, loves having his family there, loves challenging himself and his audience, not to mention Daniel; who it appears never knows for sure what song Peter is going to play next. During the hour and forty-five minute performance, Peter played many of my favorites from the last fewCDs as well as a couple of songs from his "children" CDs (if you have a little one and want to get them some CDs , these are wonderful and so listenable for adults). But I can't even begin to tell you how great the show was. The nearest comparison I can make is ShawnColvin . Shawn often comes out without a play list but with plenty of stories and she plays a hell of a guitar. So take Shawn and then multiply it all by 10. It is that good. I promise to never miss another localHimmelman show again.

And speaking of Himmelman, Isaac the prodigal son, all of 18 years of age, opened playing 3 wonderful songs that lead me to believe we have a third generation of great songwriters coming from this family. Isaac seems like a wonderful kid to, stating matter of fact that his last name was the main reason he was the opening act. He's got aMyspace page here: and if you have an 18 year old daughter, he is really cute (I already hit him up for my daughter, "If you're interested in a nice Jewish girl...").

The other star of the show was McCabe's itself. McCabe's Guitar Shop is celebrating its 50th year this year and it continues to be one of the best places in town for acoustic music. The sound is perfect, the ambiance with the guitars on the walls is one of a kind. They are having a big 50th celebration at Royce Hall I believe in October.

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