The Concert Carnival Rocked!!!
Wow--what a fun and diverse night! I was sort of expecting to cut out early but not a chance! There was singing and dancing and body percussion and glowing poi and a little strip tease action too!
I didn't take any notes last night, didn't have a pen, d'oh! So this is off the top of my head...
The song that is still stuck in my head is Danny's Song, Tim Bluhm and his new wife did a duet, it was sappy sweet, they even dressed to match, Red dress/black belt and red button down/black tie...it was cute, although this morning I'm a bit desperate to get it out of my head.
Nat's Aunt Helen and Uncle Rodney made an appearance, they sang a song about swinging...the more the merrier
I was very impressed with a woman named Evie Ladin, she sang and played clawhammer banjo, She was great! Nat, Evie and Bryan on guitar, banjo and bass did a few tunes as a trio, Bryan even brought out Dark Chocolate for a couple of the songs. (That's his big old upright, been retired from the road for several years now, so it's a treat to hear it again!)
Aaron got the first standing ovation of the night, playing a piece by Bach. The room was dead silent while he played, it was a beautiful number that transitioned in to a celtic sort of fiddle jig at the end. Pin drop quiet in a packed house, so cool!
Dan Lebo from ALO was on stage quite a bunch, always nice to see him again. There was a body percussionist who did some crazy stuff, dancing and drumming. At one point, there was a little Tea for Two dance number...of course the couple dancing got into a fight mid song which turned the dance into a gracefully comedic sort of dance, trying to spin the other person right off the stage, or into the band...
Near the end of the night an incarnation of the band played the Ballad of John Walker Lindh, very fitting. His parents have been in the news this week as they ask for his sentence to be shortened.
We were treated to the Dukes of Hazzard theme song, along with a tune that Nat wrote with local singer songwriter Brett Dennen (who oddly wasn't in attendance last night?). It was definitely a Brett tune, has his characteristic mellow, feeling good vibe.
A girl did a Stick Dance--not really sure what to call it, glow in the dark baton twirling maybe? After that she brought out her glowing poi, she did some cool stuff--stuff I haven't seen other poi people do...it wasn't symmetric at all, the left and right hands worked in two very different directions the whole time, it wasn't circular the way most spinning is, it was very angular, hard stops and starts...fun to watch in a dark room
And there was a strip tease/fan dance too...we got a few quick peaks of the pasties but mostly it was the fans, there was a surge of men to the front about that time
Josh and Eli from Poor Man's Whiskey were in attendance...any excuse to dress up as mariachis! I chatted them up at the bar, turns out they're big Jackie Greene fans too!
There was a DJ who's done some work with Hot Buttered Rum samples, last night it was Desert Rat...kinda cool for a late night sorta thing, I could get into it. It reminded me of what DJ Harry did with the String Cheese. If I'm gonna do the late night electronic thing might as well be with bluegrass samples
So yeah, the Concert Carnival was a smashing success!! Great big fun! The musicians all stepped outside of their normal range and it was such a treat...I like getting all the local musicians in a room and telling them to have it!
There was also a Jetro Tull portion of the show, Erik broke out his flute--I think at that point it was a trio--keys (alo guy?), drums (jason hann) and Erik...it was good if you're the Tull type...
Matt Butler was around and doing his thing too...fortunately he didn't do too much of it, he sorta got things started and let it flow. That's always been my dislike for his style, he gets something going and then smothers it, let the musicians take it somewhere, don't try to control it too much...but last night, he was in the right place at the right time, no smothering going on...
It was a really great night!! and I picked up a copy of last years Concert Carnival...can't wait to give it a listen.
Wow, nice review Emily. I could NEVER remember that amount of detail without taking at least a few notes...
I'm not familiar with Nat's Concert Carnival, so I went to the HBR website and here's some of what's there:
A Special Message From Nat:
This December 20th, I will be producing the second annual Concert Carnival. This is a multi-media, cabaret-style variety show with amazing artists from across the country. The program this year will be almost all new material and will feature a different cast of characters from many artistic disciplines. However, the values of the Concert Carnival remain the same: This is an opportunity for performers (myself included) to step outside of their normal performing context and try new stuff in new ways.
Zach Gill (ALO/Jack Johnson), Jason Hann (String Cheese Incident), Patch (Heavyweight Dub Champion), Evie Ladin (Stairwell Sisters), Keith Terry (body percussionist from Crosspulse), Matt Butler (Everyone Orchestra), Rodney & Helen, the Sweet Snacks, Perry Sayoma Quarshie, and all the guys from Hot Buttered Rum.
The setlist is top secret of course, but Iíll mention a few things Iím excited about this year:
1) Putting together a Palmwine Highlife band. This is a fun, breezy style of Ghanaian music. In 1999 and 2001 I learned something of the two-finger Palmwine style from a Ghanaian man named T.O. Jazz. He passed away and I am excited to play some of his music in the States.
2) Jason Hann rocks. Iím honored for him to be in the Carnival.
3) The body percussion and tap dancing of Keith Terry and Evie Ladin. Keith has studied body percussion around the world and has developed a style that can only be called spectacular. Evie is not only a great dancer; sheís also a first rate oldtime banjo player, singer, and songwriter.
4) Singing with Zach Gill. Heís one of the most soulful songwriters around today and plays with another one of the best... We've known Zachís band ALO since when High Sierra Music Festival was still at Bear Valley...
5) My favorite dub/trip-hop group is Heavyweight Dub Champion. They made a career-defining performance in a headlining slot at Reggae on the River last year (check this out at www.myspace.com/heavyweightdubchampion). Patch is an amazing electro-acoustic musician and also happens to be my cousin. Heís working on some remixes of Hot Buttered Rum music; it will be fun to cook some stuff up together.
6) Iím honored that my uncle and aunt Rodney and Helen are going to be there. They have been a huge influence on me. To learn more about their place in music history and the sexual revolution of the 70s, check out the short movie on my myspace page http://www.myspace.com/natkeefe
>> Josh and Eli from Poor Man's Whiskey were in attendance...any excuse to dress up as mariachis! I chatted them up at the bar, turns out they're big Jackie Greene fans too! <<
Funny guys. When I saw Simon and Jason a week ago they asked where you've been, told them you were on the JGe bus. They said, "Jackie who?"
Funny girl. They actually said "Kellie who?"
Ha Ha Ha Girls just want tooooooooooo have fun!!!! Great review Emily, more butter in any kind of flavor is always a treat
and why reality check?
Sueshi's photos -- awesome as usual