Monday, July 20, 2009

CR Avery vs Dead Weather
Round 1
Perth FolkFest/Ottawa BluesFest
2009-07-18 & 2009-07-19

On the surface it may look like a mismatch but on any given weekend anyone can win.

Helping his cause CR Avery has Legal Tender String Quartet & The Sojourners backing him up so it's not just him and his piano against Jack White's screaming banshee band. They are both playing the Bluesfest (19th) except the schedule has them opposite each other. Much as I love CR, I'm hoping to see Jack more often than I've seen Dylan and I'm lagging about a hundred shows behind at the moment.

This should be a fair opening round, both artists are on outside stages, competing against the 'festival' atmosphere and the natural surroundings. CR has the advantage of a nighttime set opening for Melanie Doane at the Perth Restaurant in the evening.

Which is why we find ourselves in the lovely town of Perth, ON., at a free concert in Stewart Park. We were on the road early out of Toronto to make CR's 12 NOON set time. Unfortunately we have a little rain. Truth be told it's much preferable to blazing sunshine. Nobody ever stroked out 'cause of too much rain. Umbrella's and folding chairs are in order.

The Sojourners and CR Avery were first paired up on CBC Radio's "The Fuse". That radio show brought together Canadian artists from disparate genres to see what would ensue. That is such a great idea that the show has been canned, effective September of this year. Leave it to the corporations to fuck up a good thing. You can catch an audio replay of their collaboration HERE.

CR's afternoon and evening set were pretty much the same, the biggest difference coming in the improvisational verses thrown in to make this show a little more Perth-cific. oh, and it didn't rain inside the restuarant.

Disc 1

Track 01 Clean Up (Canton Spirtuals)
Track 02 Rain Falls
Track 03 Children, Go Where I Send Thee (trad. Jean Ritchie)
Track 04 The Ballad of Charlie Parker & Patsy Cline
Track 05 ?Ain't No Use Nobody Try To Turn Me Around
Track 06 Motel: 50 Miles Out of Town
Track 07 talk
Track 08 People Get Ready (Curtis Mayfield)
Track 09 Eating Pussy on A Hot August Night
Track 10 Farther Along

Disc 2

Track 01 Hymns from the Underground
Track 02 Little Wing (Jimi Hendrix)
Track 03 Door By the River

First saw the Dead Weather at their impromptu Horseshoe gig last month. It was, ummm, dense. Today we start in the light. The release this week of the album is going to help me recognize the songs much easier...maybe even like more of them.

They are further aided by some much improved sound. Without the low ceiling and narrow space of the Horseshoe the mix was superior, almost excellent.

Pretty well the same set list. I'm not expecting a lot of variety on this tour. We did get an 'extra' Jack song when he stepped forward to cover Van Morrison's You Can't Win, and a song or two I couldn't identify.

I could watch that duet on Water in a loop, coupled with New Pony, great stuff.

Track 01 Intro
Track 02 60 ft Tall
Track 03 Bone House
Track 04 Hang You From The Heavens
Track 05 So Far From Your Weapon
Track 06 You Can't Win (Van Morrison)
Track 07 I Cut Like A Buffalo
Track 08 ??They Like To Watch Fire
Track 09 Rocking Horse
Track 10 No Hassle Night
Track 11 Will There Be Enough Water?
Track 12 audience/encore
Track 13 ??
Track 14 Treat Me Like Your Mother
Track 15 New Pony (Bob Dylan)

As for the versus part of this blog...who the f*ck am I to judge these artists? I'm grateful I'm going to see them 3 times each in the next couple weeks. But for your consideration here's a couple songs from the weekend.

I've got two versions, each distinct, of CR Avery's Motel: 50 Miles Out of Town.

No need to be shy, we're going to pit that against Jack's monster song, Will There Be Enough Water.

You choose.

If you're smart, you'll choose both.

Motel...afternoon version

Motel...evening version

Will There Be Enough Water?

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