Saturday, November 01, 2008

Happy NaBloPoMo!

In a concerted effort to make up for a lot of really crappy posting recently, I'm going to try the NaBloPoMo yet again! I hope that my readers who blog shall also take up the challenge!

For my first day, I shall re-print a concert review by DJ Professah himself. We recently went to an Old 97's show in Cleveland and this is what he had to say about the show:

DJ Professah’s Concert Review:
Old 97's & Charlie Louvin, Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland, OH, October 10, 2008

Extensive market research has shown that most readers of this here publication are not familiar with the Old 97's or Charlie Louvin. So before attempting a concert review, let me share a little background.

There are three things you need to know about the Old 97's. First, they are one of the bands that helped defined the alt.country movement of the late 90's. No one actually knows what alt.country is, but the Old 97's managed to get into a feud with Ryan Adams, which is a characteristic of most important alt.country bands. Second, they are named after a Johnny Cash song. (Every reader who can name the song wins an alt.country primer mix CD.) Third, lead singer Rhett Miller is dreamy. This is not this writer’s personal opinion, but like global warming, widely accepted as fact even if a few people out there may disagree.

As for Charlie Louvin, he and his brother Ira made up the Louvin Brothers, one of the most influential groups in early country and country-gospel music. They started making music in the early 1950's. The Louvin Brothers are responsible for many classic country songs, and their harmonies are legendary. Unfortunately, Ira passed in 1965, but Charlie continues to tour and record.

Charlie Louvin opened the show. We missed the first couple songs looking for a parking space and getting a cold Pabst Blue Ribbon from the bar. Charlie had a good band backing him, most of whom were half his age. But what they lacked in years, they made up for in musicianship and soul. Especially great was the lead guitarist who could have played with Bill Monroe or Flatt & Scruggs and fit in perfectly.

Louvin played some newer songs as well as some classics. “Cash on the Barrellhead” was a treat. The most exciting for this music fan however was “Great Atomic Power.” For those unfamiliar with the song (and the market research suggests that is most of you), it may be the only song ever written that is a cross between a gospel song and an anti-nuclear weapons protest song. It was a special treat to hear it performed by one of its authors.

The Old 97's took the stage next. Despite numerous technical difficulties with Rhett Miller’s guitars, the show was fantastic. They played most of the songs from their latest album, “Blame it on Gravity,” as well as a good mix of tunes from their older releases.

It seems Rhett has quite a fondness for Cleveland. His wife is from Cleveland, which he mentioned almost every time he reached for his red plastic cup during song breaks. He also informed us that he wrote “Niteclub” - a song this reviewer has been known to cover at the Luna Star CafĂ© in North Miami - while on tour in Cleveland many years ago. Not having heard of any significant acts of arson in Northeast Ohio clubs, we assume he didn’t really mean it when he sang “I just might get drunk tonight, and burn this nightclub down.”

The crowd favorite of the night was “Question,” which many may recognize from an episode of “Scrubs” a few years ago. (At least we hope you are watching one of the funniest shows on TV.) Plenty of newer fans enjoyed hearing some older catalog, while many old fans sang along to the songs from the first album “Hitchhike to Rhome.”

There has been a certain evolution, or at least a change, in the band’s material over the years. The early years were full of songs about drinking and the things one might do while drinking, such as burning down nightclubs, chasing women, cheating on women, killing women who cheated and their lovers, and driving around the country in a crowded van.

More recently, perhaps related to Mr. Miller’s Ohio bride, the band has made a lot more love songs as well as songs about smelling the flowers and enjoying life. The combination of the old and the new make for a good mix come show time.

Murray Hammond, the Old 97's bass player, contributed lead vocals on a few tunes, most notably “Crash on the Barrelhead,” inspired by Louvin’s “Cash on the Barrelhead.” Whether singing or not, he contributed some mighty fine grooves to the night. Ken Bethea provided some hot guitar licks, and the Old 97's secret weapon Philip Peebles kept the time behind the drum kit.

DJ Professah learned two things from this show to share with you. Next chance you get, go see the Old 97's. And if an artist you enjoy is playing at Beachland Ballroom, it is an excellent place to catch a show.

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Okay, back to me! I would post more today, but I am having an old-school sleepover with Janna tonight. Kevin's out of town, so she's going to come over to my house and we're going to watch cheesy movies, get a pizza, and drink too much! It may sound silly, but I think we'll have a great time!

1 comment:

Kristin said...

Oh! What cheesy movies did you get?