Saturday night we went out to dinner at LaLuna for tabbouleh and shawarmas, a glass of beer and some fine conversation. Then over to the Downtown Arts Centre for the latest Freewheelin' Folk Concert! Jim Marino hosts a local radio show (on CFMU 99.3) and he (with a couple of friends) have organized a series of live shows. This one was a sell out. Tom Wilson, from Blackie & the Rodeo Kings, and Junkhouse, and the Florida Razors, and his newest project LeE HARVeY OsMOND was the headliner in a rare (these days) solo appearance. And everybody from the arts community in Hamilton seemed to be there.
The show opened with Lori Yates singing from her new release The Book of Minerva. Backed by local guitarist Brian Griffith (who could've used one more run through of the songs, in my opinion) Lori put on a dandy show. She chatted with friends in the audience, and it was just a relaxed and comfortable set of new country tunes somewhat reminiscent of Emmylou Harris.
After a 20 minute break Jim Merino introduced Tom Wilson who came out to make an announcement...he introduced his son's band who played a rootsy mini-set.
Then it was time for the main event.
Tom Wilson dressed in a thousand dollar suit holding an acoustic guitar which was plugged into an amp he decorated himself, played his unique brand of folk music. He calls it acid folk...think loud...very loud...and very good.
He misses the stunning lead flourishes of Colin Linden, and the harmonies of Stephen Fearing, but Wilson sure holds your attention. He owns the stage. No doubt about it, he's in charge. His full baritone is a delight after years of wheezy tenors. His rocking tunes filled with observations of this...our hometown...are welcome. Local boy makes good!
A great show!
And...home by 11:30!