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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Acoustic Journey.

Finally made it to one of the Greg Davis-hosted shows at Green Door Studio last night, and it was lovely. Three fine acoustic guitarists in an intimate setting — perfect for a late fall evening.

Here's the recap.

Berkeley, California's Sean Smith opened up the show, and he was by far my favorite performer of the night. Some guys are just meant to play the guitar, and he's one of 'em. Full red beard, long hair, longer fingers, and a sly but friendly demeanor well suited to the intricate and whimsical tunes he played. I'm a big fan of the Canterbury prog sound and British Isles "druid-folk," and Smith's style bore that imprint. A steel-string weeeeezard! I even bought his disc. Well actually, Brooke bought it for me, as I'm totally broke.

I had Matt Baldwin pegged as a not-entirely reformed metalhead right out of the gate. Guess we can smell our own. It wasn't just because his opening song featured lyrics from Judas Priest's first record. Something in his spidery fingerstyle was agitated and ever-so-slightly cruel. Once you start down the Dark Path, forever will it dominate your destiny, a wise muppet once said.

I'm about to confess a major heresy here: I'm not a huge fan of the late John Fahey. I appreciate him as a visionary of folk music, but his dark and stumbling (not to mention grindingly repetitive) chord clusters just don't have it for me. As previously mentioned, I prefer a crisper acoustic sound with more high-mids and a gentler touch. My fave semi-trad guitarist is Davey Graham, who nicely blends mystical English stuff with American rag and Indian raga. Do check him out.

The last picker, Glenn Jones, was a close associate of Fahey's. The influence certainly shows. Actually, Jones is technically superior to his friend/mentor. His set was full of charming and humorous asides, making for a truly warm experience. It was cool to be in the presence of someone who'd obviously lived a real journeyman's life. Glad to know those kinds of fellows are still out there making musical magic.

I'd post pics, but I don't have a camera! If Greg sends me some, I'll gladly put 'em up.

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Comments

jay Blanchard

Casey, if you ask my camera is yours for as long as you need it. Send me an e-mail.

casey

Thanks so much for the offer, Jay... We just got a new one for the office today. The squeaky wheel, and all that.

Jay

Great news! Please put it to use; seeing as I'm blessed by a job that consumes most of my life, your blog is one of the few ways I can keep up with the local music scene. And as they say, a picture speaks a thousand words...

greg

dec 5th - avey tare (from animal collective) & kria brekkan (kristin from mum)
dec 7th - jack rose, peter walker and f.s. blumm

at the firehouse gallery! yahoo!
more details soon......

http://www.autumnrecords.net/burlington

jay

Holy crap! Animal Collective & Mum are two of my favs; I'll definitely be making it to that show.

jay

Does anyone know if you can pre-order tickets for the Avey Tare/Kria Brekkan/Greg Davis show at Firehouse on 12/5? I'm in Chicago right now & was hoping to order them from Firehouse, but I couldn't find any info or an e-mail address on their website.

Speaking of Chicago, I went to see "Mutual Appreciation" at the Music Box Theater on Monday night. It Andrew Bujalski's new movie (director of "Funny Ha Ha") and stars Justin Rice from Bishop Allen. Great film (very Cassavettes/ Rohmer/early Godard-esque) with some great music. If it ever comes to Burlington (hint hint Roxy), I can't wait to see it again.

casey

Get in touch with greg through this site -- http://www.autumnrecords.net/burlington.

He might be able to get you some advance tix... Usually it's an at-the-door kind of thing, though.

I'll keep my eyes on that movie. Wonder if it'll make Waterfront Video or Netflix?

jay

Thanks Casey; I'll give Greg a shout.

"Mutual Appreciation" will be out on DVD in February & I'm sure they'll have it at Waterfront (you can rent Bujalski's first film "Funny Ha Ha" there now, in the "Offbeat" section). I'd still love to see it again on the big screen though.

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