Friday, March 31, 2006

Bob Walkenhorst at the Record Bar, March 29, 2006

One of the highlights for me, as well, as, for me, weirdest song (don't expect to agree with me on that) was Dylan's "Like A Rolling Stone". Now, see, I know that song from the Nace Brothers doing it. Guitar player Jimmy Nace sings that one (Dave Nace sings most of their songs). Bob and company doing that song sounded so different from the Nace Brothers doing it as to sound like a different song. In fact, I recognized it from the lyrics -- once it got to lyrics I knew. It was "...scronging your next meal" (just before the first time through the chorus), and I'm like, wait, I know those words. It was weird hearing a rendition of that song so different from how I'm accustomed to hearing it. But I did enjoy it. And I danced.

Bob had some guitar string breakage problems. A multiple string break night. So Jeff had to sing to us (accompanied by Norm, while Bob changed his string) twice. I forget what the first song was. The 2nd was a John Prine song. One I wasn't familiar with. "Souvenir". Which I only remember the title because I wrote it down Wednesday night before going to bed. :) On that one, Bob joined them playing guitar after he changed his string. Afterwards, they decided to do a 2nd John Prine song, "Paradise". Which makes 3 Jeff sung songs. I do like Jeff's singing. (Hm... any due date on that album yet? And I wonder which will be finished first... that or the Elders album, which already missed it's first due date.) Bob broke another string later, though we didn't get another Jeff sung song out of it. And then, after changing the string, apparently, the peg that holds the string in popped out and got lost somewhere on stage. So Jeff let Bob borrow his guitar for the last two songs (Jeff played drums).

Mark Jochim was there. Bob mentioned his comment about tape hiss on the live tracks on the Balls CD. I've actually noticed the tape hiss too. In particular, after the last track from the original album, when the live tracks start, if I'm listening to the CD in the car, I notice the tape hiss kick in. Though after the music starts a moment later I never notice the tape hiss anymore. Mark had a request that Bob played. I forget what it was, but I remember I liked it. As I recall it was a cover they hadn't played previously (or at least not one of the regulars), but that I recognized. I think.

Dave Johnson was there with his wife celebrating their 34th wedding anniversary. Bob played a request for them for their anniversary. I forget what song. I think one of Bob's, though.

On the way home I was listening to the Secrets* in the car. And I wasn't even thinking about who else was in that band besides Brent Hoad. That is, not until I hear a bass part and I think, that sounds like Norm. Then, oh yeah, that is Norm.

And another car listening comment that has nothing to do with Wednesday's shows, or Bob's shows in general, although it does sort of relate to Bob. On the way to work Thursday morning, I had Flirting With the Universe playing in the car, and it was right at the beginning of "Window" when I got in the car and left for work. Now, when I get in the car and a tape's already playing, I don't really think too much about what I'm listening to, I just enjoy without thinking about it. Well, it gets to the guitar solo, and I recognize Steve's playing, and I'm a bit thrown off and thinking "but that's not a Bob song". A particularly curious observation considering I was an Elders fan before ever hearing any Steve guitar solos from the Rainmakers. I guess it was a Rainmakers-ish sounding guitar solo. :) Then again, there have been times when I've been listening to an Elders CD and get thrown off by a Steve guitar solo. Like, nevermind how many Elders shows I've been to and which Elder I've tended to pay most attention to in the past at those shows, my CD listening brain sometimes associates Steve's playing with the Rainmakers and expects Brent Hoad to play all the instrumental solos with the Elders.

Not that you all needed to know that. :) But at least I put it all in one paragraph for easy skipping past, for those uninterested.

I did take pictures. I'll share them at some point. When I have time. I don't have time today, and I work this weekend, so I'm not sure when I'll get to it.

Several dance songs to start the show. One one of them there were even other folks besides me dancing. :) But then I got to sit down and relax for a while. And drink my beer.

John Northern joined them on stage for harmonies on a few songs, as well as singing "I Carry No One's Cross But My Own", with nice harmonies from Bob.

After the show a band called Bad Ideas played. They did a short set, followed by Pendergast. I didn't stay for Pendergast, but I enjoyed Bad Ideas. Sound wise, they reminded me of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Their opening song was "Dead Flowers". Another song I know from the Nace Brothers doing it. Good song. Oh yeah, and they did mention Bob. After mentioning Pendergast playing after them, they mentioned that some of us in the crowd had been there hearing Bob.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Elders' Hoolie, March 17, 2006, Uptown Theater, Kansas City, MO

Good show. :)

The Elders started out with Joe Miquelon coming out and playing by himself. He's a good keyboard player. Interesting way to start the first show with a new band member. And a good way to introduce us to the new guy, I think.

3 new songs they hadn't played before. "Racing the Tide", "Bad Little Irish Boy", and "Right With the World". All good. Yeah, like there are any Elders songs that aren't good. Actually, all 3 are more than good. Really, really quite nice, great, wonderful, pick your adjective of choice. Which still describes 95% of the Elders' songs. The remaining few being merely good. :)

Actually, "Bad Little Irish Boy" I heard on the radio that morning, on KY. The Kelihans were supposed to be on TV at the same time (or same half hour, anyway), so I was like, uh oh, conflict. Then I realize, record one, listen to the other. Then I realized, record both! So I did. So, I'd heard "Bad Little Irish" boy 4 times before hearing it live. Good song. Kinda different sounding for the Elders. Although, first time hearing it, the guitar solo reminded me of the guitar solo in "Haverty Boys". Although, the two guitar solos aren't really that much alike, upon further listens of the song. I guess it's just Steve sounds like Steve. :)

"Right With the World" I really liked. I liked it just reading the words a while back on the message board here, and even more so hearing it. Very nice song. Steve, Ian, and Brent all did some lead vocals on it. I like that, the split lead vocals. And it seems quite appropriate to the song.

"Racing With the Tide" I don't really remember enough to comment on. Except that that's one that the lyrics alone didn't connect with me, but hearing the song, I quite liked it. Good stuff. Also, it has piano on it.

Also, "Love of the Century" had piano. Sounded quite nice. That's the only song (of those the Elders have played live before) where I noticed the keyboards contributing something distinctly different than what we got with the accordion.

Well, okay, on "Men of Erin" the keyboard playing in the background behind the vocals definitely sounded bag-pipish. A more minor difference, though noticeable to me. After the vocals on "Men of Erin" they had like 7 or so bagpipers come out to play the instrumental section of the song.

"Bad Little Irish Boy" also had, to my ears a least, a bag-pipish sound on the keyboards.

I've decided I don't have a favorite Elders member. Or, I have multiple favorites. :)

I thought there was something else I wanted to note, but I can't remember it now. Ah well.

Pictures. Yahoo Photo album.

The pictures of the dancers and from the first Elders set were taken by my sister and niece from the balcony. The pictures from the 2nd Elders set were taken by me from the floor. The very little ones are stills taken from video. (And, no, I can't share, for multiple reasons, including that video taken with a digital still camera is pretty poor and really not worth sharing.)

Not spectacular pictures. But they will help give those who weren't there a sense of the show, as well as a look at the new guy. And perhaps those who were there will enjoy remembering while looking at the pictures.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Jesus Christ Superstar at the Record Bar, Kansas City, MO, March 4, 2006

Did you all know Jesus is a darn good guitar player? Eric Mardis, actually. He sang the part of Jesus as well as playing lead guitar.

It was a live performance of the music. Not a staged production, just the music played and sang live.

I'm glad I went.

I wasn't actually familiar with Jesus Christ Superstar. Oh, I'd heard of it, and heard some of the music. But I hadn't ever heard the whole thing through. Thus it took me a while to get into it. Took a bit for me to, well, to know how to listen to it, I guess.

It was performed by a variety of local musicians. 15 in total, 6 musicians (who also sang) and the rest vocals only. $5 cover charge went to the Harvestor's. They said over $1000 was raised at that show. (There were two shows, I went to the early one.)

I feel like I'm so not doing it justice in this review. It really was a great performance. A nice treat for those of us who went.

I was dancing to the music at my spot in the crowd, and towards the end I looked around, and saw I was not the only one.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Eileen Ivers and Immigrant Soul, Lied Center, Lawrence, KS, Friday March 3, 2006

Great show. I first saw them at the Brookside Irish Fest in 2002. Then again at Kansas City Irish Festival in 2004 and 2005. This was my first time seeing them outside an Irish Fest.

I love the combination of musical styles. Celtic, African, Carribean, Blues, and Bluegrass. Or did I forget something?

It seems impossible to capture the experience in words. I guess ultimately, music should either have depth or be fun. Eileen Ivers and Immigrant Soul gave us plenty of both.

Eileen Ivers is a fiddle player. A very good one. Lead vocals, on the songs with vocals were by Tommy McDonnell. He's a very good singer. I quite enjoy listening to him.

Eileen Ivers website