Monday, March 25, 2013

Recent Happenings

A week or two ago we attended another of Wrycraft's tribute shows at Hugh's Room. This one was in honour of Carole King. The lady knows how to write a song, and the performers Michael chose certainly knew how to perform them. The stipulation was that each performer would choose (or be assigned...make no mistake, sometimes Michael picks your songs for you) one song from the early Brill Building years (when Carole was married to and writing with Gerry Goffin) and one from the Tapestry years. The amazing thing is how many songs Ms King wrote that have made an impact on our internal jukeboxes! With every song somebody in the capacity crowd whispered (or gasped) "I didn't know she wrote that!" Yep, songs that we knew in versions by The Monkees, Herman's Hermits, or James Taylor...they all flowed from the pen of Carole King. And the artists involved turned them inside and out but however they played 'em...they still had that unmistakeable meldoy that wouldn't let you go. Paul Reddick, who was accompanied by Colin Cripps on guitar, turned his tuens into blues, Chloe Charles offered R&B, George Koller had Carvin Winans to gospelize a pair and Aaron Jensen and Countermeasure sang accapella...gorgeous. Every one of the eight acts gave it their all. And with songs as good as Carole King's that made it a pretty special evening. Then there was an opportunity to see The Zombies in concert! That's right! The Zombies. Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone together with a tight as a drum band playing all the songs. Oldies like "She's Not There," "Tell Her No," and "Time of the Season" plus solo tracks from Colin's career, and "Hold You Head Up" from Argent. The crowd was...ummm...grey haired but young at heart, and the band was fantastic sounding like the originals on the old stuff and not unlike Steely Dan on the new songs. I picked up the new CD and have been playing it ever since. Rod & Colin signed everything. Gerry & the Pacemakers are coming to Fallsview Casino in June, so I bought a pair of tickets for that. Of all the Merseybeat bands they were my favourite (next to The Beatles, of course). It will only be Gerry Marsden and a band of professionals but Gerry still has the voice! Jesse Winchester is coming back too, after recovering from throat cancer. The tribute CD that Jimmy Buffett put together is a great introduction to Jesse's work, but you have to hear Jesse do his songs. The guy's a genius of relaxed singing and a fine songwriter too.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Woody Guthrie

What can I say about Woody Guthrie that some other guy hasn't already said? my most recent post on Critics at Large to find out! His new book House of Earth is moving and fun and sexy and just a durn good read!