Another great night of music last night here in Minneapolis as part of a benefit put on by the local guitar shop Willie's Guitars(which specializes in customizing and selling vintage guitars and gear) for their 20th Anniversary, featuring David Hildago and Louie Perez from Los Lobos, a boatload of local acts, and a special opening set from Joe Ely accompanied by Flatlanders guitarist Rob Gjersoe. Ely mixed an opening 4 song acoustic duo set and then was joined by local Minneapolis musicians for an extended electric romp through Dallas on a DC-9 at Night, Billy The Kid, and an epic cover of Robert Earl Keen's The Road Goes on Forever as well as a couple other Ely tunes. Joe sounded great on the acoustic tunes, bringing into sharp focus the taut narrative of Sew The Seed and allowing his vocals and guitar to open up his set with confidence and sympathy. When the band switched over to electrics Joe kicked into overdrive but never let the msuic overpower his vocal delivery thus keeping the focus on the charcters he brings to life in his songs.
David and Louie played a generous set full of songs from throughout their long career. Touching on material both new and old the set included Los Lobos and Latin Playboys tracks and a cover of Neil Young's Cinammon Girl for the encore. The Los Lobos songs included both classics like the opening Will The Wolf Survive? and closing Mas Y Mas along with unreleased demos and obscurities which are forthcoming on a new CD called The Long Goodbye whioh utilizes these type of unreleased tracks from their nearly 40 year musical partnership. The best of these was a longing and languid song called Big August Moon followed closely by the upcoming title track The Long Goodbye. Album tracks like A Matter of Time and The Valley were given a multitude of treatments and settings ranging from acoustic duo to a percussion duo featuring both Louie abd David on drum kits,and David playing with only his hands - to a full on electric band(augmented by local musicians such as Jonny Lang's bassist Jimmy Anton). With accordion, mandolin, ukelele, and a multitude of guitars; they gave their songs a full scale and vital reading full of both sonic and vocal suprises. Their themes of family, community, and sympathy for our struggling brothers and sisters really resonated with the crowd, giving the material depth and meaning in these times of recession and economic strife. Yet they also brought a sense of joy and bouyancy as evidenced by the nearly 10 minute romp through Mas y Mas which featured both Perez and Hildago shredding and jamming with full on abandon. The Cinammon Girl encore featured some sweet vocal accompaniment and harmonies from local Minneapolis singer/guitarist Molly Maher who also orgaized the show as an employee of Willie's Guitars. Her opening set with her band The Disbelievers was tremendous as well. Sounding like a cross between Lucinda Williams and Maria McKee from Lone Justice, their set veered from roots and Americana to the blues and folk and a little of everything in between. With two alternating lead guitarists and her on a National Steel they showed that Minneapolis still has some upcoming groups that have the talent and skill that have made it a regional hotbed of musical talent.
The Dough Bros featuring slide guitarist Paul Mayasich and dobro player Andy Dee were also excellent in their cameo set featuring covers of Crossroads and How Can A Poor Man Live in Such Times. Badfinger lead guitarist Joey Molland and The Rembrandts Phil Solem also shined in a fine set of pop rock - their set showcasing No Matter What You Do, The Everly Bros Bye Bye Love, and a quick take on the Friends Theme. The Suicide Commandoes(MPLS' first great punk band) were ripping in their short set and were joined by the Mayor of St.Paul Chris Coleman for a stab at a John Prine tune. All in all, a great evening of music for a great cause benefitting children's cancer research and serving to remind one of the healing power of music all over again.
great detailed review! Thanks.
nice...just picked up a front row ticket for the flatlanders at the ymca boulton in bay shore, ny...