Sunday, October 31, 2010

Live Music for October 2010

It’s been a busy week or so, and there is plenty to talk about, so let’s start backwards with the Chirssie and JP show last Wednesday...

JP Chrissie and the Fairground Boys featuring Amy
Correia at the Anaheim HOB

Honestly, I was there to see Amy (the opening act) and she did not disappoint. Playing to a 2/3 full House of Blues, and with only a bass player to support her, Amy Correia captured many in the crowds attention by singing her way through much of her current CD, “You Go Your Way”. Without Jay Bellerose, John Brion and company, Amy relied heavily on her voice to push the energy of the songs out to an unsuspecting crowd. The songs were gutsier and more dramatic and many in the audience, at least those who weren’t busy taking pictures of themselves, could be seen bouncing along with the songs. This was my first time seeing her and I was so impressed. If I could have figured out a way to go see her the next night at the Belly Up I would have; especially after finally getting to hear, “The Bike” live. I would love to see her sing that to her own crowd. It is a natural sing-a-long. I can’t wait for her to come back some day. Do check out her CD. It is one of my favorites of the year.

The main reason I couldn’t find it in my heart to drive down to San Diego the next day was because I would then have to sit through JP Chrissie and the Fairground Boys again. It wasn’t that they were bad though (the tunes had nice beats and the lead guitarist was good and when Chrissie opens her mouth...). It is just that with one of the greatest singers in rock and roll history, who just came off of her best CD in years, and who has been linked to many great rock and rollers, it makes it hard to imagine how she ended up working with JP Jones. People like to talk about the 10,000 hours it takes to be good at something and it is evident when Chrissie is on stage that she has put in her time. She is relaxed and knows what she is doing up there. JP is at the beginning of his work arc and I’m not really sure how high it is going to go. His vocal range is limited, his guitar playing is basic and his lyrics were... at times creepy. Their whole CD is about their failed relationship and some of the things he says are a bit disturbing. Still we found ourselves enjoying the energy. But I wouldn’t go see them again.

David Bromberg at the Coach House

It has been at least 20 years since I’ve seen him and this could be the last time I see David Bromberg. It’s not because of anything he did, but because his audience, which was never large on the west coast, is even smaller today. Within seconds after stepping on stage, someone from the audience wanted to know why it has been so long since he has been here and that he needs to come back sooner. David looked around the 1/2 empty room and wondered aloud if he was going to be asked back. “Airplane tickets are pretty expensive these days”. With that he preceded to demonstrate how an artist can put together a set of diverse music (from bluegrass to electric blues, from country to 30’s folk). It was an amazing night of music. With his four piece band (guitar, bass, drums and violin) behind him, David played nothing I recognized and everything I loved. His fiddle player, all of 23 years old, was fantastic (“Stop applauding him, he is too young”), drums and bass were solid and his guitar player may have been a better guitarist than David (so said David who then waked off stage to give him his solo and said, “It better be F***ing great!” It was). David Bromberg with that northern soul voice, still sings about the follies of love. And when he does, you never seem to be too far from a humorous moment. The audience seem to love the bluegrass moments the most, but I loved the blues songs (when he picked up the electric guitar). I would love to hear more of that, but as I said, I still loved everything about the show. I sure hope he finds his way back here some day.

Judy Collins and Amy Speace at the Coach House

The truth is, I only went to the show to see Kenny White, who was on the original bill. It turns out that even before he was told (Kenny is on Judy’s label), they decided put Amy Speace on the bill. Although I missed all of Kenny’s shows out west, it was great to find a new artist to enjoy. Amy is a wonderful entertainer, making us laugh, and singing songs that immediately struck a chord with me. I can’t wait to delve more into her music.
I was surprised by Judy Collins.

At 71, she stood in high heals for most of the hour and a half show, playing guitar and backed by piano. Her voice is like that of a 30 year old’s. She treated the show much like a Broadway performance, telling her history in song, giving us lots of stories and performing many snippets of songs a cappella. It is one of the great voices in folk/rock history and along with the wonderful stories made me glad that I finally saw her in concert.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Music Hall Link - Alejandro Escovedo listen