Saturday, August 20, 2005

Bob Walkenhorst, Friday, August 19th, 2005, All Soul's Unitarian Univsersalist Church

It was good. :) And it was recorded. And I got pictures. Not stellar great pictures, but, I figured I ought to take some so Jeff who does the CD covers has pictures to use.

Jeff (Porter, not CD cover Jeff :) ) did get to play the piano. (Which you can see in the pictures behind Jeff.) At Wednesday's show they mentioned the piano and that Jeff would get to play it. He did on 3 songs. I forget the first two. Slow/soft kinda songs I think. Oh, wait, 2nd was "Dry Dry Land". (Unless there were 4 songs and that was 3rd). Last was "Jan Vermeer". And that one in particular I enjoyed with that piano. And then it was break time. Yes, they took a break. A 20 minute break. Bob explained from the stage before the break, it had to be that long to allow time to drink a glass of wine.

Oh, and they had beer too. Miller Lite, and Boulevard (I think Unfiltered Wheat, but I didn't look closely). The Boulevard was the expensive drink... $1.50. Wine, pop, and Miller were only $1.

The audience was quite attentive. I heard folks laughing during "Fool's Gold" at some of the lyrics. (At least, I think that's the song.) And laughing at some of Bob's stories. Including once when he wasn't even being humorous. Bob was mentioning playing in his hometown last week, and when he said "soybean fest" that got a laugh. :) Then Bob mentioned the name of a festival in another nearby town which was even more amusing, though I forget what that festival name was.

There was dancing. Mostly in the back. And not started by me. Though I did dance. Though not till the 2nd half. The very last song (I forget what it was) some folks started a snake dance thing (much as I'd actually be inclined to avoid a song title label, especially a song they didn't do, calling it a conga line would be very optimistic, so I'll have to go with snake dance).

After playing "Fool's Gold" Bob commented that it's a cynical song. And he said the next song was also a cynical song. And played "No Romance". Although I don't disagree, I've never (going back all of 15 months) looked at the song as cynical. It's like, the song has both wisdom and cynicism, and I've tended to take note of the wisdom. In particular, I like, "I've spent too much of my life waiting / Hoping, dreaming, wishing, believing, / And way too little of it living". The idea is, don't just dream about life, go out and live it. Ah, but one can live life fully, presently, [i]and[/i] have romance. The problem is when romance becomes a replacement for life instead of a part of being alive. I also like: "But the sooner that you learn this / The sooner you free your hands / To get on with things that really matter". I guess to me it speaks of not spending too much time in fantasy. When romance is a fantasy, it's not real, so let go of it and get on with real life. And I'm done with my philosophizing. Really. :) (Then again, occasional fantasies can be fun, but not in place of living life.)

After that, Bob said "I need a love song" and played "Life Can Turn".

I got there late. Actually, I first got there on time. But then I realized I was short on cash, so I had to go back to the car and make a run to the ATM. I got there during the 2nd song (I know from talking to someone else). First song (which I missed) was "View From The Tower". 2nd was "Long Gone Long".

I didn't miss out on the wine, since they had that during the break as well. I had the Blush Chablis. Good stuff.

"Lakeview Man" was played. And "The Day That We Hung Up the Flag" and "Primative Garcia". 2nd to last song (first encore song) was "Information". I went and sat down for that one. I like the song, and it's got a dancable beat, but it just doesn't (usually) make me want to dance. It's more a sit and watch song, for me. I think that may be the only song Bob did that he didn't write.

At the end of the break, as people were returning to their seats, the guys did an instrumental jam thing. Bob on drums. And it sounded good. And was a nice way to draw people back before continuing the show.

Before playing "Hoo Dee Hoo" Bob mentioned there being a "Hoo Dee Hoo" day somewhere, and he commented that it sounds like a Unitarian Holy Day. :)

Bob commented on the album Skin. He talked about what the album was about, the theme, focus, whatever the word of the album. He mentioned Steve questioning if anyone would buy an album with that theme (sounds like Steve. :) ). And Bob said he said "no one's buying our albums anyway". (I recall that same exchange is reported in one of the articles on the Rainmakers website.) Bob said the album is going to be back in print. (I'm guessing that it went out of print because of the label -- Shooting Star's V&R Records -- ceasing operation. I know the Shooting Star albums are no longer available.) That's good, that it will be back in print. Anyway, Bob then played the song "Skin".

A brief comment on the church itself. Catholic that I am, I always find it odd being in a church with no crucifix and/or no kneelers. I don't buy the idea of Jesus being a necessarily sacrifice for our sins so we could be saved. I don't believe God works like that. Still, the crucifix is meaningful to me. I think because I can identify with a suffering Christ. (Hm... I guess, then, there's a connection between my appreciation of crucifixes and my appreciation for "Let My People Go-Go" and the line Bob has Jesus speak. Interesting thought. Oops, there I go philosophizing again.) As for kneelers, I usually briefly pray kneeling before mass (unless I'm singing with choir), which for me is a good way to get in prayer mode, and when I've gone to services in Protestant churches, or Catholic churches without kneelers (not common, but there are a few) I really notice the lack of kneelers and wish for one. The lack of kneelers, however, was not a problem at the Bob Walkenhorst concert. :)

Anyway, it's a nice church. It does have a nice spiritual feel to it, I thought. Meaning the space. Though the people seem pretty darn likeable too. Not just Bob, the rest of them too. :)

Monday, August 15, 2005

Bob Walkenhorst, Norborne Mo, Soybean Festival, August 12, 2005

Wow. That was so cool. As I was approaching towards Norborne, I was like, wow. Just to be there. It's not just that Bob's from there. It's that it's this place I've heard about from Bob talking about it and singing about it, and so it was just way cool to be there in real life.

There were several of us Bob show regulars in the front row, right side (Jeff side). Most wearing either Bob Walkenhorst shirts or Rainmakers shirts. Me, I wore an Elders shirt. :)

I lasted two and a half songs sitting. But that was it. Actually, okay, I danced with Liam a bit on the first song, "Small Circles" but then Liam wanted to go back to Mommy. I had fun dancing and didn't worry about what anyone thought. I did keep to the side so at least they wouldn't be thinking "Can't that darn woman get out of the way".

I'll start with the encore. Yes, there was one. Bob's hometown crowd didn't let him get away without playing an encore. First Bob came out and did "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry". That sounded so darn good. Then the band joined him, and Dave Johnson joined them and sang "Johnny B. Goode". Also good. A few weeks back I requested Bob do a Chuck Berry song, and he didn't. I finally got my Chuck Berry song. :) Then Dave requested Bob do "Frustration Train", so Bob did. And Bob didn't want to end on a depressing song, so then they did "One More Summer". Ah, I'm so glad they did that one. My favorite 4-piece song. As in, I like that one in particular with Bob's 4-piece band. Not the Rainmakers, not the accoustic 3 piece. But with Pat on drums and Jeff on electric guitar. Anyway, that was good to hear.

Bob said before playing that everyone should leave as they are playing, and they'll keep playing till everyone is gone. Of course, some of us in the front row though "Okay, then, we just won't leave". And I sure wasn't going to leave while they were playing "One More Summer". They actually just played the song and quit. Actually, Bob also said, I think, folks should get up and talk to each other, or something like that, and that folks did. The post show socializing began.

Bob did the funeral hymn (I still don't remember the title) solo. Then Jeff joined him, and I think they did two songs, one of them being "Primativo Garcia". Or maybe it was just that one song. "Proof" was also done just Bob and Jeff, but that was later and Pat and Gary stayed on stage.

Bob mentioned Wednesday nights at Molloy's. He said if you see folks you don't know dancing, it might be folks who come to those Wednesday night shows.

There's plenty more if I could remember it. :)

It was a good show.

Oh, Jeff made a comment. He said in Kansas City Bob is a, well, some two word phrase containing "star" and so when Bob called him about doing music he was like "wow".

Bob had introduced his bandmates, and, and he told about calling up Jeff. He told this story about putting his guitar in the closet, after the end of the Rainmakers, and then his guitar saying "let me out" and then handing Bob a phone number, that was Jeff's. Yes, I'm sure it happened just like that. ;)

It's weird to me, that idea of Bob as a star, or prominent person, or such. Like, okay, I knew who Bob was in the 80s. But, such knowledge was vague and peripheral. And far from my mind when I bought that first Rainmakers CD back in May 2003. Maybe because I came at the Rainmakers from the perspective of being a fan of one of the other members, that affects my viewpoint. Anyway, no need to psychoanalyze myself. Point is, I see Bob as someone I know, not someone well-known.

Well, I posted that I'd be missing and Elders show to go to the Bob show, and that I hated having to choose. Well, choosing got a lot easier... outdoor show with a back up rain plan, or outdoor show with no back up plan. So the rain, and the back up plan, reinforced my decision to see Bob. And it turns out the Elders show got rained out, so I didn't miss anything, except maybe an opportunity to wave at Steve. But, hey, I got to wave at Pat, so I'm even on that. ;)

The show was in the High School gym. Not the same building where Bob went to school. They've built a new high school since then. This was the first time Bob had been in the current high school.

There was a pretty good crowd. I hope Jim got a crowd shot. (With my camera I wouldn't be able to get anything decent. But Jim has a better camera, so maybe he was able to, if he thought to.)

Songs they did that haven't been mentioned so far. "No Romance". "Lakeview Man". "View from The Tower". "Hoo Dee Hoo". "Let My People Go-Go". "Width of a Line". "Downsteam". And that's all that comes to mind right now.

Oh, and the show wasn't recorded.

After the show I hung out in the beer garden for a little while with Jay and his wife (they weren't there soon enough to record), and then got to talk to Dave Johnson a bit before leaving. It was raining, but not too heavy, and there was a tent. It was kinda nice.

I wonder if Bob's gonna do this again next year or some other future year.

While on stage after doing "Johnny B. Goode" with the band, Dave Johnson mentioned something Bob's dad, Ray, had told him. Ray had told him if your singing and they can't understand you, you aren't telling a story.

Bob started off his tale before playing "The Day That We Hung Up The Flag" with saying his a patriotic person, and then added "not of the Toby Keith type". Kinda unfortunate that patriotism gets associated with that kind of patriotism in particular, while, really, one can be patriotic and disagree strongly with things our government has done.

Bob said that his dad bought up the end of 3rd street and put up houses, and someone said they should put up a flag pole at the end of the street, so they did. And that was the flag raising that inspired the song.

Oh, and I have to pass on the car story. Bob said how people could leave their cars unlocked and keys in the car and not worry how that anyone would take it. He asked if it was still like that, and responses were mixed. Anyway, he said after his brother had just started driving, they took the car to go to some event, drove across town (ie, not very far) parked, left the keys in, car unlocked. After the event, they went back out to go home, and the car was gone. So, they were driving all over town with a friend in the friends car, looking for the car and the person who (they thought) stole it. Didn't find it. Got back to the starting place, and there was the car. Apparently, the guy who took it had a similiar car, and thought it was his own car, and they keys were in it, so he got in and drove it home, and Bob said he probably got home and found a very similiar car already parked there. The story was better told by Bob, I think. :) Anyway, after that he played "Shiny Shiny".