Setlist from the Earthboard Yahoo group:
April 7, 2007
The Gothic Theater
Support: The Duhks
Brown County Breakdown
Saddle of the Sun
Give That Boy a Hand
New Lee Highway Blues -->
Walk Beside Me
Colorado --> Staten Island Hornpipe
The Hunting Song *
Cuckoo Medley **
My Sisters and Brothers *
* with Dan Sears on trumpet
** with all the members of the Duhks: Leonard Podolek on banjo, Tania Elizabeth on fiddle, Scott Senor Senior on percussion, Jordan McConnell on guitar, and Sarah Dugas on hand percussion
Another superb, high quality evening of music. When discussing this and the Fox show, it is truly an "apples and oranges" kind of comparison, since I fully enjoyed both shows. However, I may have connected a bit more on Saturday night.
First, after hitting the restroom, it was great seeing Denver_Rider...and right at my rail spot to boot! Clearly, D_R and I were the "old folks" of the group of people around us, but it was an enthusiastic crowd, if a bit chatty at times.
While the first set was probably 15 minutes shorter than Saturday night's, it was of equivalent high quality. After the band loosened up via a dust-yer-shoes-off "Brown County Breakdown", it was Todd Shaeffer who really opened up, with a gritty & inspired guitar solo during the fully developed "Elko." When D_R and I were talking possible tunes that could be played, I had completely forgetten about "Saddle Of The Sun", performed with rich little details by Goessling and Skehan.
That said, the highlight of the first set was clearly the pairing of a gnarly & piledriving "Warhead Boogie" and the sweet & crisp instrumental "Stillwater Getaway", with a couple of minutes of legitimate delicious space between the two, which formed a very melodic & rich segue. Superb interplay all the way around, with fine solo segments by Skehan, Carbone, Shaeffer and Goessling.
I was psyched to hear the band's cover of David Bromberg's "New Lee Highway Blues" kick off the second set, and Todd has a nice low-key method to handling the verses (different from the song's author, David Bromberg); and when Andy Goessling strapped on a mando, he and John Shehan embarked on a sparkling conversation that highlighted "Fiddlee". Of course, Tim Carbone found room to add plenty of subtle fiddle touches that complemented the dual mandos. "Colorado" is a personal fave, and Todd slightly struggled with the verses (swapping one line for another), but the music and song remained strong, with
a particularly invigorating passage by Skehan.
Next up, Tim Carbone welcomed Dan Sears (of the band Pangea) to the stage, who chipped in trumpet to complement Andy Goessling's pennywhistle on a loping "Hunting Song". Later, Sears teamed up with Carbone, trading off lines before teaming up in unison to create a solo with dual instumental voices harmonizing as one. Good stuff!
The good turned to great when all of The Duhks were welcomed onstage. The Earth wisely chose the "Cockoo Medley", which was the perfect platform for the two bands (and Sears) to interact. Banjo player Leonard Podolak, while normally animated, appeared to be overflowing with sheer glee; whether it was getting the audience to clap along, chip in some clawhammer banjo licks playing alongside Todd, or dance with sheer joy as fiddler Tania Elizabeth beautifully egged Tim Carbone to produce a twin fiddle solo that overflowed with energy and joy. The first exchange of smiles between Tania and Tim were genuinely priceless: The joy of two artists connecting and going for IT! It's apples and oranges, but this was clearly my favorite musical moment of this weekend!
The Duhks remained onstage, chipping in further delicious details on a fine cover of "Moonshiner", now in a higher key, but handled just fine by upright bassist Johnny Grubb. In fact, I was slightly bummed to see The Duhks leave the stage afterward. That said, the set-capping "Head" did not suck, with Goessling's banjo textures teaming with Carey Harmon's rock-solid percussion to create a base for Skehan, Shaeffer and Carbone to rip their solos; the final duet between Skehan and Carbone the perfect final touch for the Earth to cap the set in first-class fashion. (Oh, I wish Tania had stayed on stage, because I would love to see where she and Carbone could take "Head." Here's hoping that happens within the next two weeks.)
Sears returned for the encore, a jovial take on "My Sisters & Brothers" marked by Sears' trombone teaming with Goessling's twin alto & tenor saxophones to add a layer of sheer fun; capping a superb show in a positive, spiritual light.
In the end, Railroad Earth and The Duhks teamed up to provide the Colorado Front Range with a pair of superb quality evenings of music; where both shows each had distinctive personalities and where its players found different ways to shine. I left Saturday night wishing I could catch a couple more shows; which is the kind of feeling this old Deadhead has not experienced in several years. I was also happy to see "sold out" turnouts for both nights; simply because both shows and bands deserved such results; and on a consistent basis.
If this tour comes to your neck of the woods within the next two weeks, it is very well worth your while to catch the Earth and the Duhks. Thirty-five dollars between the two shows...that's less than the cheapest ticket at Red Rocks this Summer. Can you say "Bang For The Buck"?! I knew you could!
In Colorado, nobody provided more bang this weekend than Railroad Earth and the Duhks.
Thanks for the reviews John, glad to see you guys had a blast. I have listened to the Duhks a bit & really dig them as well. Count me in for the next RRE run in Colorado.
Yay!! Nice looking setlist, hopefully they continue to mix it up!
I'm completely looking forward to Friday! My last RRE fix was High Sierra...it's been tooooooo long!
"... old folks ..."?
I resemble that remark.
Seriously, I would say that the age and exuberance of the crowd down front (and we "old folks" did keep up with them, if I may say so) played a substantial part in the "glee" that the performers seemed to be feeling and feeding off of.
The previous times I've seen RRE seemed a bit more "heady" (partially because they were both at Cervantes, maybe?), whereas this time there seemed to be a little more structure, but not to the detriment of restricting the players from exploring when the inspiration hit them (plenty of A+ solos all around, as JJW mentioned). Also, my expectations may have needed an adjustment the minute I found myself standing at the rail, because it was definitely not just a "stand still and listen" evening (certainly not where JJW and I were, anyway). If anything, it probably took me by surprise because it was so much more "soulful" than "heady", a feeling that was likely reinforced by the guest spots JJW mentioned above. For me, it was different, but it was good different.
Check it out and you'll see that JJW is on the money about this one:
edited. double post
Sorry for the double post.
D_R, bud, we were doing the old folks boogie!
Just downloaded the show overnight and will be listening to part of the first set en route to work.
>>>it probably took me by surprise because it was so much more "soulful" than "heady",
What do you mean by "heady"?
By "heady", I basically meant "jam-oriented". Probably should've just said that.
This time there didn't seem to be any "sidebar jams" within or between the songs. The previous times I saw them they seemed to do that here and there, but this time they seemed to pretty much just solo within the song context. Plenty of extended solos in the songs, but no extended segues between songs, that I remember anyway.
I'll be listening to the show again to make sure, once I download it. Too many shows competing for bandwidth right now.
Both the Gothic and Fox shows are up at cotapers.org.
...well the Duhks depart the tour before it gets to SoCal but Tony Furtado opens up @ the Belly-Up in Solana Beach on 4/26 and that ought to be an awesome night of music.... looking forward to that one and The Knitting Factory LA see ya there.