On Wednesday night I was fortunate enough to see one of my all time favourite performers for the first time. Steve Earle played at the Enmore Theatre in Sydney and H and I were there in the fourth row for what turned out to be a memorable evening.
Kasey Chambers opened the evening. I expected her voice to annoy me and it did. She sings in tune, plays well, has a GREAT band, writes good songs but, to quote H, "she sings like a Dalek". I'm sorry but that's a fair call in my opinion. The put on uber twangy American accent gets harsh and metallic very quickly.
Steve and his band played for just over two hours and were fantastic. They must've played almost all of their current LP "The Low Highway" as well as a solid mix from his back catalogue. Highlights for me were "Billy Austin" - a song about prison and the death penalty in the USA, "Guitar Town" - it's just a cracker of a song and then "My Old Friend The Blues" which has a permanent spot in my Desert Island Discs.
Steve Earle - Billy Austin - http://youtu.be/Xad0Qyu__cE
Steve Earle - Little Emperor - http://youtu.be/yP55hWf_bYM
Being in the fourth row was a surprise, all I'd done was sit online when the ticketing opened and booked two seats. The only real issue was that I expect some of the seats around us were freebies so it wasn't until Steve played "Copperhead Road" that a number of people came alive. Having said that, maybe it's just that H and I were, apart from Kasey Chambers' 21 year old banjo.violin player, the youngest people there!
Steve's guitar player (Chris Masterson) and violin player (Eleanor Whitmore) play in their own band called "The Mastersons". If you like rootsy Americana music then check them out. You're sure to enjoy it. After listening to a few tracks online I shot an email off to Chris about his guitars and also ordered their album.
The Mastersons - One Word More - http://youtu.be/c6dIz0uE_pk
Every year, well for the last 5 at least, I've written something brief about ANZAC Day. It's about honour and respect and a simple thank you to those who deserve it. It's not a celebration and it's got nothing to do with glorification of war. With the rate of mental illness and suicide among our returned service personnel on the increase you'd be mad to think that ANZAC Day is a party. For those who serve, have served and their families it's a solemn occasion where they can pause to reflect on history, their mates and what it all might mean.
The kids got me Metallica's latest live DVD, "Through The Never", for my birthday. Being the considerate person that I am, and also taking into account clear instructions from DJ Al-ee-Sun, I waited until I was home alone to play it at significant volume. For Metallica fans it really is a no-brainer - buy it. The production values are impressive, the band play well and if it's your thing there is a back story running through the whole concert which isn't bad. The version I have is in 3D and 2D bluray but I'll admit that I've only had it on in 2D so far. 9/10 rating for fans. For casual listeners, all the hits and classic tunes are here with a top notch performance and package.
Metallica - Creeping Death (live) - http://youtu.be/Q7rxnrAnNr8
DJ TC from the USA sent me vinyl copies of two albums from "The Dollyrots" as well as some digital downloads. He was awesome too in that he got the band to sign one of the LPs. I've had a couple of listens so far and my feet are still tapping. Look out for a full review in the next couple of weeks. If you like The Ramones & Saturday morning cartoons then this is for you.
The Dollyrots - Come and Get It - http://youtu.be/ip40Qg1IUek
The last song this week comes from a guy that I heard of after cheking out recommendations from Little Stevie. You know him right? The guy from Bruce Springsteen's band who is also in Lilyhammer? I figured he should know a good tune if he heard one and I think I was correct. Try this from Kurt Baker. There's a definite Elvis Costello influence but that's not a bad thing.
Kurt Baker - Don't Go Falling In Love - http://youtu.be/uBnTFRr6rnM
I need a couple of volunteers to trial my new Song of the Week project. It's a secret for now. But, if you're NOT a music tragic like me and fancy expanding your musical horizons please drop me an email. All you need to be able to do is agree to listen to 6 songs and get back to me with what you thought. Dot points is fine!
That's all this week. I've got a bike to ride now.
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