Thursday, November 29, 2012

Bert Jansch...

I also post reviews on a blog called Sleeping Hedgehog. It's a pretty interesting site to browse, but I have a new review posted there, of a re-issued Bert Jansch album. Skip on over here to read my take on Heartbreak a 2 disc set produced by John & Rick Chelew. Bert Jansch is an under-appreciated guitarist whose last couple of albums brought him back to where he belongs. A re-issue campaign has provided some real treats for fans of acoustic guitar playing.
L.A.Turnaround came out three years ago. It had been unavailable for nearly thirty years. Produced by ex-Monkee and country-rock pioneer Michael Nesmith it makes a fine companion piece to Heartbreak. It includes a short film taken in 1974 at the time of the recording.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Crowbar (together again)

My wife and I went to see Crowbar (and Steve Strongman) at Mohawk College this weekend. I've written a more in-depth review over at Critics at Large, but suffice it to say...we had a ball! Kelly Jay, Roly, Rheal, the Ghetto and Sonnie along with all the support rocked the joint! Saw Skip Prokop out in the foyer! Steve Strongman and his band were excellent as usual. This weekend it's off to Hugh's Room for another of Wrycraft's Tribute Shows, this one to Tom Waits. Sounds like fun to me. We want to wish the McMaster Marauders best of luck in the Vanier Cup this weekend too! Go Mac, Go!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Judy Collins at Hamilton Place (Nov.3/12)

Had to miss my niece's wedding out in Red Deer, but belated congratulations to Amy and Jason! Hope you had a great party, and wish you all the best! Saturday night we went to the Studio Theatre at Hamilton Place to see Judy Collins! She walked out on stage at precisely 8pm, accompanied by her pianist and musical director Russ Walden. The stage was fairly plain, except for a dozen red roses in front of the grand piano. Russ took the bench and Judy came to centre stage carrying her 12-string Martin. She began with "Chelsea Morning" the first of a number of Canadian composed songs she would sing this evening. She forgot a word or two, but the audience (which seemed to be entirely made up of rabid Judy Collins fans) helped her along. They would do so again.
Between songs Miss Collins told long, rambling stories of the early days of folk music, how she started her career playing Mozart on piano, and switched to guitar when she fell in love with the olde folk songs. Her high soprano voice was rivalled only by Joan Baez at one time. These days it gets a tad shrill in the higher registers. The tales often drifted without a point, but if you knew about her history you could usually fill in the details. It's getting sad going to concerts by these legendary performers any more. When BB King can hardly finish more than one verse and a chorus, or Judy Collins has trouble with lyrics and range you have to wonder if it's worthwhile to go to these shows. Whatever her failings, Judy put on a fine show. She's a trouper! And as I mentioned, she looked great, in her purple tights, high pointy boots and sparkly top, she was the epitome of elegance. At the end she thanked the theatre and Elizabeth Arden. Nothing lined up in the next couple of weeks, although I'm looking forward to seeing Dave Swarbrick at the Pearl Company. Another old folkie!