Monday, February 15, 2010

Some Things in September

Our first foray into live music in September was on the 12th at the Gone Wired Cafe on Michigan Ave in Lansing to see, "Everlovingmind", the creation of our good friend, Matt Bliton. This was a 4 (of the 5) piece band playing a variety of tunes in anticipation of their Lansing "Blues fest" debut later in the month. An intimate audience turned out to see a well-rehearsed, fun band play songs they know and love. Intermixed with some great "regulars" like Van Morrison's, "Tupelo Honey" were some of Matt's own songs. Everlovingmind
think the audience thoroughly enjoyed the show and were certainly enthusiastic for the group. Nicky and I could not attend Bluesfest this year but heard they did a great job there. Congrats Matt, it was a very good time.

Sept 21st marked the release of the latest Porcupine Tree album, "The Incident". More of a "concept album" than in the past it nevertheless contains all the bits of PT we have come to know and love, e.g. dark passages followed by lyrical interludes and beautiful melodies. As with the previous album, "Deadwing", it took me a few listens to really enjoy it, but enjoy it I have. If you've never heard Porcupine Tree before, try their 2005 release, "In Absentia", prog rock album of the year.

Sept 24 brought Willie Nelson and Family to the Wharton Center. I'll say this, he's 76 years old...and he and his band played (and I counted) 12 break or song intro. Wow. He has a style you can love (or hate or anywhere in between) as when he leans into the mic with sincerity or not love...the way he consistently sings out of time (stilted...on purpose). I loved him, so did Nicky and the crowd was enthusiastic to say the least. I've seen Willie 3 times and this was the best.

The Coffeehouse at All Saints
"Campfire Edition"

August 22 brought the 2009 edition of this annual (3rd) outdoor event at the farm of Dan and Gail Shafer-Crane. This is always a special night because it is truly multi-generational. From toddlers to their grandparents folks come to the farm to enjoy a hayride, antique auto show (the Cranes own several Model Ts), cookout, campfire complete with sing alongs and s'mores. This
year we had about 65 people who took advantage of all that was offered and I belive everyone had a great time.
Many, many thanks to Dan and Gail Shafer-Crane for the kind hospitality.

August: Festival Time

The Great Lakes Folk Festival - Aug 7-9, 2009

Always fortunate to attend this wonderful live music/arts/crafts/etc festival in downtown East Lansing. 3 days of opportunities for intimate audiences, immediate feedback with performers and music you'd be hard-pressed to find in one spot. Nicky and I tend to gravitate to the Dance Tent for one performance, something "close" on a smaller stage and a larger show at the end. This year we saw three groups I had never heard of and am glad to say I know who they are now!

We met friends Ed and Joni B for the Acadian-favorite, "Gadelle" on Friday night. Gadelle comes from Prince Edward Island (PEI) on Canada's east coast, where our friends have spent time in pubs listening to groups just like this. Excellent fiddlers and singers (and sometimes dancers) they really get you going. We all had a good time despite the crummy weather.

On Saturday we saw, "Beyond The Pale", a klezmer band and, "Lost Bayou Ramblers", Cajun masters. It is not the first time the Festival has brought klezmer and Cajun groups to east Lansing but these are certainly 2 of the best. It is difficult to sit in your seat while they jam away, looking like THEY are the ones having the good time.

Thank you MSU Museum and the City of East Lansing for this thoroughly interesting and rewarding opportunity. I have only scratched the surface with regard to what is available these 3 days (day and night). it is a true "Folk" festival in that it always has displays of artists for the Great Lakes area including storytelling, crafts and poetry. The 2010 Festival will be Aug 13-15...don't miss it.