Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Arlo Guthrie
The Grand Theatre
Kingston ON
Or: you can get anything you want BUT alice's restaurant

I don't need many reasons to get out to a show but when you have a certain convergence of events it can make it a sweet experience. Arlo Guthrie, a pop-culture icon (if by attrition), a lovely resort on the banks of the St. Lawrence (Dewars Inn On The River ), and a 30th anniversary to celebrate. Nothing can rain on this parade.

Well, except rain, of course.

No matter, the Inn is idyllic. We had the pleasure of some company one day and some time to meander about the country roads on another day. Sunday night finds us at the elegant, recently refurbished Grand Theatre, Kingston, to bask in a little hippy-nostalgia.

We got way more than that...a history lesson or two, a walk through the American songbook and an excellent show. Arlo has brought a full band with him; led by the understated brilliance of Bobby Sweet's guitar, aided by the dulcimer sounds of the Burns Sisters of Ithaca NY on backing vocals, supported by Arlo's son Abe on the Yamaha synth and carried on the rhythms of ?? Landreau on bass and Terry Oliveri on drums.

The show was a sonic trip in time, sometimes evoking early-Dylan, or Donovan. His forays into blues-roots songs was great. Best live version of St James Infirmary I've heard to date, and that includes one or two screamo-versions from Jack White. The stage patter covered everything from the unfortunate historical accident of being a songwriter when Dylan was plying his trade to memories of standing at the knees of Leadbelly. The Woody talk was precious 'cause our links to these times are fast fading.

Nostalgia is for the rocking chair, though. This show is here today even if it looks back once in awhile. A good helping of original tracks and a healthy dose of covers...just the recipe required.

He tours almost constantly. Don't miss it if it comes by your door.

Set 1

Track 01 Chilling of the Evening
Track 02 Shade of the Old Apple Tree
Track 03 talk - downstream from Dylan
Track 04 Darkest Hour
Track 05 Band Intro/talk - I Tune By Sight
Track 06 St James Infirmary

Track 07 talk - Old Songs
Track 08 Cornbread, Peas and Black Molasses
Track 09 talk - In A Pickle
Track 10 The Motorcycle Song
Track 11 talk - Dangerous Friends
Track 12 Dangerous Friends Instrumental
Track 13 talk - Woodstock
Track 14 Coming Into Los Angeles

Track 15 talk - Woody
Track 16 Pretty Boy Floyd

Track 17 talk - Leadbelly's Grave
Track 18 Alabama Bound
Track 19 talk - Pete Seeger
Track 20 Deep Blue Sea

Set 2

Track 01 talk - Hoyt Axton
Track 02 Evangelina
Track 03 My Old Friend
Track 04 talk - Okemah OK Festival
Track 05 When A Soldier Makes It Home

Track 06 talk - Disaster TV
Track 07 In Times Like These
Track 08 Days Are Short
Track 09 City of New Orleans

Track 10 talk - Steve Goodman and others who have passed
Track 11 ??Compassion, Forgiveness and Love
Track 12 This Land Is Your Land (Canadian Dub)
Track 13 talk - Show's Over...more Woody
Track 14 My Peace

No comments: