Thursday, June 15, 2006

Bob Walkenhorst, June 14, 2006, The Record Bar

This show had a small crowd (is it summer vacation time?) and a mellow feel. Which didn't keep a couple of us from dancing to quite a few songs. :)

Opening song was... uh oh, I looked up the actual title from a snippet of the lyrics, and now I forgot. It's a Dylan song. Though I didn't know that when they were doing it. It's the one that goes "Tomorrow's the day my bride's gonna come". Okay, title is 'You Ain't Goin' Nowhere". Made famous by the Byrds. Not that I knew any of that till a few moments ago. Except that snippet of lyrics, which I wrote down. Yeah, I took notes. I wanted to make sure you all knew what you missed. :)

Bob commented that they always try to play a different first song each week, but he doesn't pay attention to what the 2nd, 3rd and such are, and for all he knows they are the same each week. Actually, he specified downloaders, saying maybe they are getting the same 2nd and 3rd song, but, I can't figure why he mentioned the downloaders in particular. Don't we in person get the same stuff? I guess I'm not following Bob's thinking. Once in a while that happens. Not often, but once in a while.

I quite enjoyed "Skin", and then we got a double dose of songs from the album Skin, with, "Eclipse Has Begun" right after it. Two great songs. And great to hear two songs from that album back to back.

"Life Can Turn", Bob (and Norm and Jeff) played it in such a way (feel, tempo) as to make me wanna dance, but it wasn't quite dancable. Or at least quite a challenge to dance to.

"Proof" was played for Faron's birthday. Which is actually today. And I don't know if that's how his name is spelled.

It was good to hear "Masters of War". Good song.

Jeff treated us to "15 miles", and then Norm left the stage and Jeff, with Bob playing with him, sang "Road Behind Me".

Then Jeff left the stage and we got a couple songs from Bob solo.

First was "Government Cheese", a birthday request from Ernie. And Ernie requested that Bob talk about the song, which he did. It was interesting hearing Bob comment on the song. And he also commented on that list of the 50 greatest conservative rock songs, and being on it, and he said if "Won’t Get Fooled Again" is number one, he's proud to be on the last. Or something like that. Exact wording not guaranteed. He also said it seemed more an anarchist list. I think that's what he said. If I got that wrong, someone who was there correct me.

Okay, what I recall of what Bob said about the song... he said it came from seeing, and I totally forget the word or phrase Bob used, but the impression left in my head was government housing, big ugly boxy apartment buildings. Anyway, Bob seeing what ever it was he saw, and seeing how people lived there, and the song wasn't meant to be a political statement, just a gut reaction. And he said, there's a down side to the welfare state, but not having welfare isn't the answer either. And he said, and this I wrote down so I know I'm quoting right, "Not that I have any answers, but I do have a guitar"; I like that.

As for the song, listening to Bob sing it yesterday, it's actually an okay song. Bob singing it now (or yesterday in particular), it just doesn't have that nastiness that, for me, the original seems to have. Though maybe that reaction to the original has a lot to do with what I bring to the song as a listener.

What was weird for me, listening to Bob talk about the song before playing it, is Bob was looking at Ernie while talking about the song, and Ernie was, not directly behind me, but close enough to that so that Bob was looking near to my direction. Given my own feelings for the song, that felt kinda weird. But it was okay. And I appreciated hearing what Bob had to say.

Okay, that was a lot of talk about one song.

Next up. Okay, so, back in February, at Knuckleheads, Bob and Norm and Jeff played a song that Bob had just written that morning, and Jeff and Norm had never heard.

Well, last night Bob (by himself) sang a song he'd written only 3 hours earlier and hadn't ever played. Like, he'd had it in his head, but not played it. It's called "Across the Silver Lake", and though lovely isn't a word I usually use, lovely is the right word for the song. It was inspired by the trip to Jeff's cabin. Or Jeff's wife's family's cabin. Or however that his.

Jeff shared about a friend having his ashes scattered (er, I think scattered as that seems to usually be what's done with ashes) up there, and Jeff was saying (putting his point as I understand it in my own words) that with this song, we, those listening, can understand the beauty, the specialness of that place. And Jeff was crying as he told that. He said it's okay, he cries often and his kids are used to it. Bob noted "Jeff's crying, and I'm smiling". Or maybe he said grinning. But I think smiling.

So, one of them said "Let's play something up". And Bob goes "George Jones".

That made me laugh a little. Yeah, the song they played, "The Race is On" is a good uppy song. In feel, not subject matter. A good cheery heartbreak song. :) Anyway, the thing is, though, the name "George Jones" makes me think sad depressing songs. Probably because the first song that comes to mind, thinking George Jones, for me is "He Stopped Loving Her Today". A beautiful song, but a definite downer. (Lyrics in case anyone's curious.) The next two George Jones songs that come to mind when I think of him are not quite so depressing, but still, far from uppers, "She Thinks I Still Care" (which Bob's done several times, and sings quite nicely), and "Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes" (a really nice tribute to various country singers, some still alive who'd been around a while, some dead).

Athough, unlike those 3 songs that are the ones I think of when I think "George Jones", "The Race is On", which Bob and them played, is one George Jones co-wrote. But I know it from Sawyer Brown doing it. And now Bob and them doing it.

After that was "Any Old Wind That Blows". I was thinking while listening to that, Bob's turning into a country singer. Which ain't at all a bad thing. Though perhaps more, adding that to his repetoire of who he is as a performer.

After that was "Doomsville".

Later on, "Tupelo Honey". And the word to describe their performance of that song -- heaven. And some nice guitar on that song.

The last song of the evening was "Width of a Line".


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