Sunday, February 28, 2010

CR Avery
and The Legal Tender String Quartet
NAC 4th Stage Ottawa

Our Nation's Capital. Escaped the snow in Toronto and found the sunshine in Ottawa...if a little windy. All pre-show plans were scuttled when D'Arcy McGhee's turned out to be post-work, yuppie hell. So I'm drinking early and keeping company in our hotel room. Somehow, though I was positioned only meters away from the entrance and had all the time in the world, our party ends up in the back row, which is no matter in this tiny space.

Tonight's openers are local slam-poets taking the stage for a single piece each.

We have a little surprise for CR tonight as I've enlisted the help of Kate who fills the pregnant pause with a question... "You scared?" The audience laughs, a quick smile crosses CR's face as he leans into the mic and replies... "I'm petrified..." and we're off.

Very good performance tonight even though we're told that Corin Raymond did his best the night before to keep CR in a drunken-haze in Toronto. Now there's a story here that would probably be best left untold. CR's a funny guy, often introducing his songs, the more extreme songs, as being covers of Anne Murray (solo Folk Singer at the '08 Bragg show and more recently, I'm Gonna Eat You Out in Ottawa). You know he's joking, right? When he says he spent the night partying with Ron Sexsmith I can't tell anymore if he's pulling my leg.

Set list changes in spots 10 and 12 for tonight are, a personal favourite, The Birdcage and a cover of Neil Young's Star of Bethlehem.

One final note, as a testament to the spontaineity of CR's set, we get a new verse in I'm Gonna Eat You Out that could have only come about because of last night's post-Toronto show party at Not My Dog:

"it don't taste like chicken,
it don't taste like grilled cheese,
I'm just repeatin' what Corin Raymond said
To one of my string players on his knees..."

As the song closes it's apparent CR has listened to the CBC broadcast of his Vancouver show because he notes "you'll never hear that on the CBC mother-fucker..." Now I haven't listened yet but it's my guess it got cut...from the radio airing anyway.

(Check out a great video version of The Birdcage captured at Toronto's Rivoli in Feb of 2009)

Track 01 Road Visions
Track 02 German Computer
Track 03 Train Headed West
Track 04 My Bad
Track 05 The Cat
Track 06 The Prime Ministers Chair
Track 07 Hell of A Hotel Harm
Track 08 Band Intro
Track 09 Dinner For One
Track 10 Bird Cage
Track 11 The Kind Man Of Alexander Street
Track 12 Star of Bethlehem (N. Young)
Track 13 Lost Highway
Track 14 Hymns from the Underground

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