All It Takes Is [Four] Voice(s) …

I’ve been feeling awfully musical lately. I blame it on my Welsh blood — the Welsh are great singers!

This is rare Woodstock footage of CSNY singing one of my all time favorite songs, Helplessly Hoping. The second half is Long Time Gone, which is okay, but not as good (for me) as the other. Enjoy!


Baby, Come Back …

I feel really bad for Tommy James and I hope TPTB at the Rock Hall are properly repentant — although I doubt it.

Tommy James

Tommy James

Two years ago (IIRC) at the Moondog Coronation Ball, Tommy James, who was SUPPOSED to be the headliner, got squashed into the last spot with no time left and had to rush through an abbreviated session of his hits.

Last night, at the R&RHOF fundraiser, he had to do the same thing, because SOME IDIOT let MC Hammer play 8 songs (when no one else who came did more than 3 and poor Richie Furay only got TWO). Once again, a show that was supposed to end at 11:00 wasn’t done until well after 12:00, and once again, Mr. James had to rush through a six-song set. This is bloody RIDICULOUS and I blame Terry Stewart (partially because the auction went too long too — although I might not have felt the same if I could have afforded to bid on Bono and U2).

Mr. James deserves better, although I admire his class in handling it the way he did. I wish he could come back and get treated better this time. He can bring Mark Farner (formerly of Grand Funk Railroad) and Richie Furay with him, both of whom deserved better as well.

By the way, Gene Chandler (“Duke of Earl”) schooled ’em all. Just goes to show that here’s another real musician and showman who has real talent and staying power. I can’t imagine Justin Timberlake in 60 years doing anything he’s done as well and with such style. Congratulations, Mr. Chandler! Well done!

Mother and Child Reunion …

This was such a great story: Haitian Parents, Injured Baby, Reunited in Miami.

Is anyone but me creeped out by Tiger’s latest shot at redeeming himself?

Gordon Lightfoot’s coming to Akron (Civic Theatre) in May. That’s on my ‘gotta see’ list!

Checking out the standings, I see Montreal is still in sixth. Oh, guys, you’ve got to win tonight! And you better win Saturday! I want to watch the postseason … Go Habs Go!

Finally, I’d love to know how Facebook picks the six ‘friends’ it shows pictures of on your profile. I didn’t see my ‘missing’ friend’s picture there for ages, and the last three days (since my post) it’s been there every single time.

Listen to the music …

Just found out that one of my favorite singers is coming to Kent Stage right around my birthday.

Marc Cohn burst onto the music scene (one of those ‘took a long time’ overnight successes) in 1991 with his eponymous album, and the hit single “Walkin’ in Memphis”.  I like “Memphis”, but there were a lot of of other songs I liked better, including “True Companion”, which Tom and I played at our wedding two years later.  I got his second album, but kind of wound up disconnected for a couple of years, when I heard about his bizarre experience with being carjacked and shot in Vegas.  The bullet went around his head and he survived, Thank God, but it left him in a strange place.  You can read about that here.

He’s got a really great voice and his songs (and covers) are powerful and feeling.  Not only that, but us Northeastern Ohioans can be especially proud, since he’s one of us.

So I’m looking forward to that February evening, sitting and listening to Marc back home in Kent.

In The Mood …

Cain Park, of which I have posted before, hosted a free concert by the Glenn Miller Orchestra this past Sunday afternoon.  We went with my mother-in-law, who loves Big Band music.  I do, too.

It was a beautiful day, the kind you wish you could bottle up for use in February, when even those of us who like winter are sick of it.  Temperatures were in the 70s, humidity was reasonable, there was sunshine and a lovely breeze.  Perfect weather for Cain Park.

The concert itself was great.  The orchestra’s small now, piano, bass, drums, 4 trumpets, 5 trombones and a woodwind section where everyone played clarinet and one or two (or even three) different saxophones.  Didn’t see any soprano saxes — not that I’d have expected them — but there were altos, tenors and at least one baritone.  As someone who spent a big chunk of their young life playing both clarinet and alto sax, I got a kick out of that part. 

They played all the big songs you’d expect, except, IIRC, Chattanooga Choo-Choo, including Pennsylvania 6-5000, String of Pearls, Sunrise Serenade, and of course, my personal high-school nightmare (from the perspective of learning the fingering), In The Mood.  I played the opening clarinet part from Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue in Lab Band, and I didn’t have as much trouble with that as I did In The Mood.  Must be a mental block thing.

Anyway, a good time was had by all, and when they played American Patrol, they had all the veterans stand.  There was at least one guy that I think was Vietnam, and several that were probably Korean, but most of them were Greatest Generation, including one gentleman in front of me who was 94 years old (gives me heart of grace on another matter).  I wish Dad could have been there — I don’t think he ever got the acknowledgement he deserved.  Miss you, Dad.

Concert Report

Last Saturday, my husband, mother-in-law and I saw Roger McGuinn and John Sebastian at Cain Park.

If you’re not from the area (or if you are and haven’t been there), Cain Park is a charming little venue in the middle of Cleveland Heights with recreational facilities and two stages for concerts and plays.  The Evans Amphitheatre (which is where we saw the concert) is an open air facility with pavilion and lawn seating.  It seats about 3,000, I’d guess, if the lawn and colonnade are full (which they were for George Benson, who we saw back a few years).
evans AmphitheatreThe other theatre is the Alma, which can be considered covered (by canvas).  It’s smaller and tends to host the ‘second string’ play and cabaret-sized concerts.

Anyway, the concert was much fun (even with the rain that chased the lawn seaters into the food pavilion).  John Sebastian was never one of the great singers of the ’60s, but his voice is now down to a raspy growl.  It suits the blues and folk he sings, but makes the Spoonful stuff he includes not quite the same.  He’s got a great sense of humor and is still a talented instrumentalist.  After the first song, he looked up at the roof of the pavilion (it was REALLY raining) and said “I’ve always had a gift for the right song at the right time … I feel one coming on now” and segued into “You and Me and Rain on the Roof“, one of my LS faves.  Both he and McGuinn did a lot of folk and blues (they both got their start on the New York (and Chicago, in McGuinn’s case) folk scene) and just enough of the hits most people know them for to keep the average folks happy.  They also did two songs together at the start of McGuinn’s set.

Now, Roger McGuinn:  Frankly, (now granted, I didn’t see him up close), he has hardly changed at all — except maybe to get better.  He had three guitars (two acoustics and the Rickenbacker) and a banjo and he used them all to great effect.  The version of “Eight Miles High” alone was worth the price of admission; as my husband said later: “He sounded like the whole band [Byrds] just by himself”.

So if you see them come to town, or either one on their own (they’re not doing many gigs together — or they’ve finished doing them) they’re worth going to see. 

[This endorsement is not tainted by my finding out that Roger McGuinn is a Christian, too. Yippee!]

On My Sansa:  “Small Town” by John Mellencamp