Friday, August 31, 2012

So THAT'S a House Concert!?!

Dr. John has a great song called "Such a Night". And it is the perfect theme for last night's house concert at Jacob Moon's backyard. He dubbed it Yardstock but there was no rain, or mud, no bad trips, they didn't have to close down the QEW, and Richie Havens didn't show up. Just 40 or 50 music lovers and a couple of really fine music makers. To get to Jacob's backyard, you have to go through his house. Gee, is it always so tidy? Suzie Vinnick stood at the front door greeting and welcoming everyone. We dragged our lawnchairs into the yard and found a spot with good sightlines. Had to move just a little because the playhouse ladder was in the way. But there were really no bad sightlines. The next door neighbours were in their yard, with other spectators, a BBQ cooking sausages and a cooler full of cold beverages. All the money went to charity. The night couldn't have been more perfect. The sky was clear, a full moon shone through the trees, and the yard was filled with peace and love. Jacob played the first set, showing off his precise guitar playing and his clear tenor. He mixed originals from his most recent CDs with some well chosen covers and pleased the crowd with every tune. He did a fine cover of Bruce Hornsby's "That's Just the Way It Is". Suzie Vinnick joined him for Paul Simon's "Under African Skies". The guy is a master looper, and showed it. After 40 minutes he announced a short break. People mingled, they grabbed another bevvie or sausage, Alison Kraus sang over the PA and the lineup for the lavatory finally diminished. Then it was Suzie's turn. After she introduced herself with the Tim Horton's jingle, she sang blues from her 2 most recent CDs. Dirty blues, funny blues, even silly blues. Between the blues she sang some originals from other albums. "Happy Here" and "Looking For a Kiss" from the Stephen Fearing produced album, and "I Need a Cowboy" from 33 Stars. She even got the audience to join in a couple times. She called Jacob to join her on a trio of blues tunes and he was only too happy to oblige. His guitar leads were looser and wilder than the carefully structured things he plays on his own songs. It was a pleasure to hear him let go. The night ended with an old spiritual which we all sang along with, and it was time to go. All I could think of was Dr.John...And it's such a night / it's such a night / Sweet confusion under the moonlight / It's such a night, such a night / To steal away, the time is right. "Sweet confusion?" Maybe not...but it sure was such a night under the moonlight...hopefully the time'll be right for Yardstock III soon enough!