Saturday, April 06, 2013

David Bromberg & Allen Toussaint
Koerner Hall
Royal Conservatory of Music

Saw David Bromberg a couple years ago at the horrific Hugh's Room. (That's a place in Toronto where they book acts you have to really focus on yet still serve dinner, drinks and deserts to late comers. When you buy the tickets they tell you that you must be finished by show-time but in reality they just keep on serving and pulling in the money. When Hugh's books someone I want to see I catch them in another town nearby.)

It's a two-fer tonight as he's accompanied by the renowned pianist, Allen Toussaint. As it turns out, he's opening for Allen. I don't know how these things work. Later this summer The Waterboys are opening for Great Big Sea. A couple of years ago Steve Earle was up here opening for Blue Rodeo. I guess there's more to concert billing than "who does Marcel like most"?

We didn't get Sloppy Drunk but it's ok, I was driving tonight.

Showed up for a concert, got a history lesson. Bromberg was generous with his selection, given that he had a truncated set. Up until a few years ago he hadn't played live for 22 years. That would coincide with the early/mid '80's when synth-music was busy fucking up every decent album released (see Marianne Faithfull's Broken English) Not a period in time that would have been tolerant of a folk singer.

But he's back and he brought us something. What we blues, Appalachian, contemporary blues, traditional folk, contemporary folk and one piece of Can-Con, though most would attribute the song to Steve Earle, perhaps. I mean there were only 9 songs so that represents a pretty broad spectrum from the 'roots catalogue'.

Last song of the night was done at the front of the stage, with no amplification. Unfortunately I was a good ways back so I had to really boost that track to get it listenable. The hiss kinda makes it seem righteously dated.

Roll On John is NOT Dylan's song for Lennon from Tempest.

t01 Good Liqour Gonna Carry Me Down (Big Bill Broonzy)
t02 Fifty Dollar Wig (Hound Dog Taylor)
t03 Cornbread When I'm Hungry (Dock Boggs)
t04 Don't This Road Look Rough And Rocky (trad.Flatt&Scruggs)
t05    chat - band intro
t06 Diggin' in the Deep Blue Sea (Keb Mo')
t07 Come All Ye Fair and Tender Maidens (trad)
t08 Summer Wages (Ian Tyson)
t09 New Lee Highway Blues (David Bromberg)
t10    encore break
t11 Roll On, John (trad) *done unplugged at front of stage, had to severely boost the gain
and did my best to reduce the hiss.

Blog and mp3s from 2011 Bromberg Show at Hugh's Room

If this was a Tuesday night, instead of Friday, we may have been heading home now. I came primarily to see Bromberg and didn't really know how the show was being set up. Could have been Allen as part of David's band, playing a few of his own songs. Toussaint's reputation precedes him though, so we settle back in our comfortable chairs.

Allen is his own long long journey through history. He's a friendly, talkative fella who has a pocketful of well-known songs. They are brought to us by artists as disparate as The Grateful Dead (Get Out of My Life, Woman), Ernie K Doe (Mother-in-Law, A Certain Girl), Yardbirds and Warren Zevon (A Certain Girl), Lee Dorsey and Devo (Working in the Coalmine), Benny Spellman and The Rolling Stones (Fortune Teller).

He was a big part of the soundtrack of our youth...whether we knew it or not.

t01    Yes We Can
t02    What Is Success
t03    Soul Sister
t04 A Certain Girl >Mother-In-Law >Fortune Teller Workin' In The Coal Mine>A Certain Girl
t05 Get Out of My Life, Woman
t06    Unknown Song (flute solo)
t07 St James Infirmary
t08    Bright Mississippi
t09    Drum Solo (Herman Lebeaux)
t10    Mr Mardi Gras
t11    Southern Nights
t12 Long Long Journey

1 comment:

Fortune Teller said...

Allen TOUSSAINT, sir.

Of COURSE the hairy guit picker opens for the mighty Nola legend.

You want to examine that set list again?

Mon Dieu.