Monday 19 February 2007

Some great music this weekend...

Got to see some great music this weekend, all at the Black Sheep Inn. After a Thursday night CBC Radio taping, Danny Michel gave one of the quirkiest shows I've seen him... or anyone ... do on Friday night, with everything happening from a malfunctioning lamp that got tossed around the stage to an audience member wailing on harmonica on "Tennessee Tobacco" to a unique special guest for the encore of "Ashes to Ashes" (can I have a shout-out for Levon, the coolest 10-year-old in the world).

Opening for Danny Michel was Michelle (Red) April, who did quite well for herself. Some interesting guitar style, a great harmonica player, and a lovely voice. She's got some potential.

Sunday afternoon brought two Montrealers to the Sheep. I'd never heard of Rob Lutes, but he got some great promotion from the Citizen last week, and didn't disappoint. Very solid fingerstyle songwriter, with a killer lead guitar player (Rob MacDonald, playing some very hot licks on a resophonic guitar). Lutes had a really interesting singing style, often singing in an almost-whisper. Did a great job of pulling listeners into his lyrics, I thought. I particularly liked a song he wrote about Spaulding Gray called "Staten Island Ferry".

He opened for Joe Grass, who I had first heard at a Vinyl Café concert, and who wowed the crowd (oooh, a rhyme) with his slide and fingerstyle playing.

Seeing someone so young with such prodigious skills on the guitar always makes me feel two things at once:

  1. Go home, quit my job, and practice practice practice
  2. Go home, get a hatchet, and chop all my guitars into little pieces of kindling
I do wonder, though, if Grass's apparent shyness / introversion is a consequence of working and playing the way he does or whether that sort of playing attracts people who are naturally shy. Hm.

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