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Fall River

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  • Mary Jane Cuneo
    Hello list, We heard Jack perform in Fall River, Mass. just over a week ago, and I thought I d write it up for those who are interested. If anyone else on the
    Message 1 of 5 , Mar 31, 2003
      Hello list,

      We heard Jack perform in Fall River, Mass. just over a week ago, and I
      thought I'd write it up for those who are interested. If anyone else on
      the list was there-I always look around and wonder-please add your
      thoughts.

      Opening for Jack was Terence Martin, playing guitar and harmonica,
      accompanied by Dan Bonis on mandolin, lap steel, and Dobro. Terence's
      soothing voice and his lyrical imagery (often from myth, legend, weather
      and water) could combine especially with the otherworldly sounds of the
      lap steel to produce a mesmerizing effect.

      This was taking place at the Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River.
      You go through a side door, up a steep staircase, then turn left into a
      cavernous space. It's a renovated warehouse or a factory. There is wood
      above, wood below, and steel columns supporting. Behind the stage there
      are floor to ceiling views over the water. The seats are recycled church
      pews. Behind those, makeshift walls define studio space for artists.
      (One was present during the performance, hidden away, painting.) It looks
      like a great place for creativity. Also, sometimes, for dissent.

      Up those stairs last week I dragged a heavy heart, full of dismay at the
      policies coming out of Washington. I'm sure I wasn't the only one feeling
      that way. Jack can be a bard in the old sense, traveling around bringing
      news and commentary. He has a keen sense of history. And he doesn't
      suffer fools. At this moment in time, what would he say?

      "We have a theme tonight," said Jack to Mike Laureanno and Tom Duval, who
      wanted to play upbeat. Many of the songs, taken together, were like a
      musical history tour, highlighting the great forces and noting instances
      of collateral damage. Affecting, and edifying, though not particularly
      encouraging. Jack sang a new song, which might be called In Bed With the
      Enemy. It is ferociously funny and it's for Dubya. Now this might not be
      high art, but there's nothing like a good laugh when you really need it.

      Jack would rather sing a song than explain it, so I'm always alert for the
      times when he will offer some background. On this night he told how Das
      Kapital came from a conversation he overheard between a mother and a
      daughter. We've all had that experience, observing a parent who is doing
      a number on a child. We ache for the child, and for our own helplessness.
      So Jack wrote this song. Now I have to stop and think what I might be
      saying to my own children!

      Tom brought his very first electric guitar, a 1959 Gretsch. It really
      looked old-fashioned. He said it was rather hard to play, that he had to
      fight with it. Sounded great, though.

      Since you're on this list you'll already know how beautiful the music is
      when these guys play, how polished the performance, how easy they make it
      look. And yes, there was the usual bickering on stage, to the enjoyment
      of all. So as not to leave us feeling dangerously grim, given the
      evening's theme, they played a couple of lighter songs and ended with
      Gazebo. I must confess to having some trouble following the story, but
      that is one rousing bit of silliness there. A fellow named Gary Martin
      (?) came onstage to sing along, and he just about knew all the words (no
      simple feat).

      Here is the list of the songs performed:

      The Moon is Full
      You're in Bed with the Enemy (just a guess at the title)
      Ponderosa
      The Children
      Sile na gCioch (Sheila)
      Porto Limon
      Dead Man's Hand (slightly altered from the recorded version, I think)
      Dachau
      Arrow
      I OughtTo Know
      Sending Home the Slates
      The 20th Century
      St. Clare
      Das Kapital
      In the Building of the Boat
      May Day
      In Memory of Federico Garcia Lorca
      Dover to Dunkirk
      The Twelfth of July (Gazebo)


      MJ Cuneo
    • Ron Mura
      Great report. Thanks, Mary Jane. ... Glad to hear that. As good as the acoustic guitar sounds on _Bandolier_, I wouldn t want to go for too long a period
      Message 2 of 5 , Apr 2, 2003
        Great report. Thanks, Mary Jane.

        > Tom brought his very first electric guitar, a 1959 Gretsch.

        Glad to hear that. As good as the acoustic guitar sounds on
        _Bandolier_, I wouldn't want to go for too long a period without
        hearing Tom on electric. I'm glad that Jack isn't restricting him to
        acoustic guitar until the next album!

        > A fellow named Gary Martin
        > (?) came onstage to sing along, and he just about knew all the words (no
        > simple feat).

        He's a good friend of Jack's. He went to Ireland with Jack at least
        once, the time when "Síar ón nDaingean" [West of Dingle] was written.
        Gary also runs the Music by the Bay house concert series
        (http://www.musicbythebay.org).

        Ron
      • Fir
        ... Doesn t Jack disagree with folk police in an old Fast Folk article specifically on the topic of electric instruments in folk?
        Message 3 of 5 , Apr 2, 2003
          On Wed, 2 Apr 2003, Ron Mura replied to Mary Jane:

          > > Tom brought his very first electric guitar, a 1959 Gretsch.

          > Glad to hear that. As good as the acoustic guitar sounds on
          > _Bandolier_, I wouldn't want to go for too long a period without
          > hearing Tom on electric. I'm glad that Jack isn't restricting him to
          > acoustic guitar until the next album!

          Doesn't Jack disagree with "folk police" in an old Fast Folk
          article specifically on the topic of electric instruments in folk?
        • garyalanmartin
          ... the words (no ... least ... written. ... Thanks, Ron. Twice to Ireland. Not sure yet what songs came from the 2002 trip. 1998-99 resulted in Síar ón
          Message 4 of 5 , Apr 3, 2003
            --- In JHardy-L@yahoogroups.com, Ron Mura <rmura@w...>
            wrote:
            >
            > > A fellow named Gary Martin
            > > (?) came onstage to sing along, and he just about knew all
            the words (no
            > > simple feat).
            >
            > He's a good friend of Jack's. He went to Ireland with Jack at
            least
            > once, the time when "Síar ón nDaingean" [West of Dingle] was
            written.
            > Gary also runs the Music by the Bay house concert series
            > (http://www.musicbythebay.org).

            Thanks, Ron.

            Twice to Ireland. Not sure yet what songs came from the 2002
            trip. 1998-99 resulted in "Síar ón nDaingean", apparently
            inspired by my singing of the English song variously called "The
            Constant Lovers" or "The Forsaken Mermaid". Jack said, at the
            time, that if it had been an Irish song, it would have been more
            subtle. It took me about six months to realize that Jack had
            written the "Irish" version. We heard the fiddler in a session in
            the Tig Pheig pub in Ballyferriter on New Years Day and gave her
            and two friends a lift to Dingle a few days later as they were
            hitching.

            "Sheila" also came from that trip. We met her in a pub in an
            amazing coincidence. After the musician, whom she had been
            listening closely to, left, she came over and sat near enough to
            us to strike up a conversation. Turns out she's a singer/
            songwriter. Turns out she lived in the same apartment that Jack
            rented in 1978, five miles away. Most of the song is true. The
            dress was in a ditch on the left side of the road as we walked
            west from the house we rented. I did show him how to run the
            washing machine, though! And the present progressive in
            regards to his hair turning gray is wishful thinking.

            I think there was a third song from the trip that didn't make it onto
            Omens. Can't remember what it might have been.

            "12th of July" was written for a concert that Jack did at my house
            on July 12, 1998. It was pretty easy to learn - when there's a
            good story and a strong tune, it's remarkably easy to learn a
            song - much easier than "If I Ever Pass This Way Again", which
            took me about three weeks.

            Well, that's enough secrets for one post.

            Gary
            http://www.musicbythebay.org
          • Ron Mura
            Thanks very much, Gary, for the background on the songs. It adds another level of appreciation. ... There was one show, a little while after Jack had started
            Message 5 of 5 , Apr 5, 2003
              Thanks very much, Gary, for the background on the songs. It adds
              another level of appreciation.

              On Thursday, April 03, 2003, garyalanmartin (g1martin@...) wrote:
              > "Sheila" also came from that trip. [...] And the present progressive in
              > regards to his hair turning gray is wishful thinking.

              There was one show, a little while after Jack had started performing
              "Sheila," at which he gave a touching introduction about the song
              being about a young lassie, a dress by the side of the road, and
              (from memory--not an exact quote) "an aging tinker that looks quite
              a bit like me." He had given similar introductions before, but this
              was the only time I heard him make a reference to himself; usually
              it was just "a tinker" or "an aging tinker." As Mary Jane wrote recently,
              you can learn a lot from listening to Jack's introductions when he gives
              them. Every once in a while he adds a comment that gives you a gem of
              insight.

              > I think there was a third song from the trip that didn't make it onto
              > Omens. Can't remember what it might have been.

              Might it have been "Sending Home the Slates"? Or was that written
              before that time?

              Ron
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