Last night was a bit emotional. And very hot.
This was our third show at Gondozó. And dare I say, it was the best yet. We had most of the band in tow and the turnout was spectacular. I didn’t have a head count, but the place was largely packed. The set was good and long. And the show had a few unique aspects to it.
It was very hot in there.
We booked the show on Fiona’s request. It was a bit close to the last show, so I was worried a bit about the turnout. No problem. It was a great turnout. Very thirsty one, as well. After we’d booked the show we realized that we were facing a couple of problems. First, Jerome would be out of town. Nothing we could do to remedy that. Second, Andor had a gig at six about 210 km out of town. Oh boy. Third, we were going head-to-head with the quarter finals of the Euro tournament. Oh well. We collectively decided to do a short first set at 8, let the match play through, then play a longer set as soon as the final whistle blew.
Do you realize how hot it was in there?
That “around the match” decision, much to my surprise, was not as popular as I thought it would be. Several people said they would much rather hear more music than watch footie. One of them coerced me into playing some songs during halftime. OK, I thought. I walked up to my guitar and picked it up. Figured I’d play Angelina and a couple more songs. Greg and Bob happened to be right there. So they joined in. The halftime session turned out to be a real gem. I felt like we were playing the Superbowl halftime show (btw, for the right price we are available). We played a number of my songs and some choice covers. I only regret that Mike was enthralled with the match (I heard it wasn’t a very good one) and the search party didn’t locate Fiona (mostly my bad). A very surprising number of people came in to catch our little impromptu set, which was a bit of a Second Cousins act. We played “Love, Truth and Other Myths” because the three of us had recorded it together. Bob blew everyone’s mind away with Stormy Monday. I do wish Greg had led a song or two, but he was his usual fabulous drummer and vocalist self. That impromptu set bled into the second Poosta Ramblers set (Mike and Fiona came back). That was a long one, but a good one. It felt like our vibe gelled. And about five to ten songs in, lo and behold, Andor showed up. I’ve never seen anything quite like what he did. He pulled out his 50 kg pedal steel guitar, set it up in record time, plugged it into his amp, and finished up the last notes of the song we were on (I can’t remember which song that was). I laughed.
Have I mentioned how hot it was?
The aspect of the gig that will stick with me for a very long time was that it was Fiona’s last. I should qualify that: I think we’ll be playing with her sometimes. I expect she’ll be visiting our fair city from time to time, and I can’t picture her travelling without her violin. So I hold out hope we’ll be singing from time to time in the future. We should be so lucky.
I wish I had a thermometer last night.
Fiona has been in really fine form the last few shows. She is a very experienced violinist, but a relative newcomer to the art of lead vocals. Not that you would know it. Her voice has a natural sweetness to it and with time she’s augmented that with a little more control and a little more confidence. Wonderful stuff. This band will not be the same without her. I only wish I could have heard her sing with our other lost Ramblerette, Sugar Rae Hammond. Oh well. We decided to embarrass Fiona and did an unannounced version of Happy Trails for her. Fiona and I will be playing together in Toronto on July 26th. Check it out here.
I should mention the heat.
It was damn hot in there. I haven’t sweat that much since… I don’t want to think about it. Now it’s one thing for the band to suffer and swelter. But for the audience to voluntarily go through the same? Crazy kids. Dedicated. Made the evening all that more special. Thanks, audience folks. (Note: I was very tickled that the Duchess managed to bring all her family and what seemed like her entire neighborhood!)
Man, was it ever hot in there.
It was interesting to get all the gear home and into the ground floor foyer only to discover that the elevator was broken. One of the few times I wasn’t happy about living on the sixth floor. The Duchess saved my lower back, no doubt about it.
BTW, Mookie Brando and the Second Cousins and Zöldhullám, next Saturday!
I’m trying to piece together what we played for the halftime show. After the song titles I’ve added what act the song is associated with, at least in my head. The Poosta part should be accurate…
Pre-game show, brought to you by Carrier Air Conditioning
- White Freight Liner - Townes Van Zandt
- Carved in Stone - The Subdudes
- Our Town - Iris Dement
- Old Old House - George Jones
- Feel the Blues Movin’ In - Del McCoury
- Wayfaring Stranger - trad
- I Don’t Feel Like Loving You Today - Gretchen Wilson
- Something About What Happens… - Lucinda Williams
- Deportee - Woodie Guthre
- Up on Cripple Creek – The Band
Halftime show, brought to you by Simcoe Ice
- Angelina - Mookie Brando
- Angel Tonight - Mookie Brando
- Love, Truth and Other Myths - Mookie Brando
- Stormy Monday - T-Bone Walker
- To Love Somebody - The Bee Gees
- Downtown Came Uptown - David Wilcox
- Next Teardrop Falls - Freddie Fender
Post-game show, brought to you by Mr. Freeze
- Friend of the Devil - The Grateful Dead
- Tennessee Waltz - Patti Page
- Make Me Down a Pallet – Mississippi John Hurt
- Down the Road - Michael Kentish
- Don’t Come Home a’ Drinkin - Loretta Lynn
- Fallin and Flyin - Jeff Bridges
- Blue Kentucky Girl – Loretta Lynn
- Jambalaya - Hank Williams
- One More Time - Ray Price
- Brand New Angel - Jeff Bridges
- Good Year For the Roses - George Jones
- Subtract One Love - George Jones
- Come On up to the House - Tom Waits
- You Ain’t Going Nowhere - Bob Dylan
- One Light Left in Heaven - Blue Rodeo
- Where the Stars Go Blue – Ryan Adams
- This Day - Michael Kentish
- More Pretty Girls - Senator Robert Byrd
- You’ll Get No More of Me - Hazel Dickens
- Happy Trails - Roy Rogers
- Long Long Long Time Ago - The Tea Thieves
- Redneck Mother - Jerry Jeff Walker
- Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down – Merle Haggard