Wonderful Bela Fleck show

The best part was that it was his original lineup, so Future Man, Victor Wooten (both of whom I had seen before) and Howard Levy (who I hadn’t) joined Bela — wow! I have never heard harmonica playing like Howard Levy… there were times he was playing harp and if I closed my eyes I’d have sworn he was playing sax, the notes were so clear and distinct. At one time, he did a little solo bit where he played Ode to Joy… I was about 20 seconds into enjoying it before I realized he was playing all the parts — the slow chord progression that’s normally played by the left hand *and* the more “active” melody played by the right.

I wondered for a moment whether he was somehow looping it (he wasn’t) or using two harps (he wasn’t)… my jaw dropped open and I wished dearly for my Tivo so I could have “mooped” back to the beginning to watch again now that I knew it was *all him*.

And getting to meet ALL OF THEM afterwards…HEAVEN! (I did ask Levy how he did it — he said he uses his tongue to block the center part of the harp then blows the chords out the left while using his lips to control the melody on the right!)

 

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grouse grouse (good concert, but audience grouse)

So tonight I went to see Steely Dan, a concert to which I’d been greatly looking forward to and for which I’d paid relatively dearly for tickets.

And I was treated to the delightful croonings (crowings? no, more like shoutings) of my seatmate, who seemed to think that he was just as capable of delivering classics such as Peg and Aja as Donald Fagan. Sadly, he neither the vocal sylings, nor, in fact, even the pitch of Mr. Fagan.

FWIW, I *do* sing at concerts but I (a) do it sotto voce unless it’s a a great big whole-audience sing-along (which I love, BTW) and (b) I try to do so on pitch.

Couple this with his space-invading arm flinging and his periodic mid-song howls and air punches of encouragement to the band (who I’m sure would have just stopped without the added cheerleading) and he almost managed to foul up and otherwise pretty great show.

I’m trying to let it go now (I’m being ridiculous, right?).

Sigh.

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Bluegrass Jam – open to public & free! (donation requested)

2009 Marathon Jam

What: Bluegrass jam concert in Chapel Hill
When: Sat., Jan. 31, from noon until (at least midnight)
Where: American Legion Post 6, 1714 Legion Road in Chapel Hill.
Why:: (1) It’ll be fun. (2) If you make a donation, it will help support The Fisher house (more information below). (3) I’ll be there (singing, even)… maybe that’s not a "Why" as much as a "Why not"… (4) aklikins will probably be playing :-) (5) Virginia Ward (*amazing* singer) should be there too! (6) David Hiscoe will be there!

More…
On Saturday, January 31st, the RDU Session Players (the bluegrass jam band I sing with sometimes) will be hosting their 6th Annual Marathon Jam. As always, it will begin at noon and continue until at least midnight with some of the best music of the year. You will hear everything from Bruce (Springsteen) to Bluegrass being played by some of the best musicians in North Carolina. This year’s Jam will be held at American Legion Post 6, 1714 Legion Road in Chapel Hill.

In addition to the music, this is a covered dish event for the musicians (IOW, we’ll be bringing food… you can too, if you want.). As in past years we will be raising money for The Fisher House, a wonderful group that provides lodging for the families of US military who have been wounded and are back in the States receiving medical attention, by asking for donations for people playing in the event. Think of it like a walk-a-thon only we get paid per hour played instead of per mile walked! (Checks can be made out to the THE FT. BRAGG FISHER HOUSE — and yes, all donations are TAX DEDUCTIBLE!!)

John Santa has pledged that in addition to playing at least 12 hours that he will donate $5.00 for each copy of his book, Bluegrass Is My Second Language, that is sold that day. The public is invited and admission is free. We do ask that people attending make a donation to the Fisher House at the door.

A real coversation via IM with one of my co-workers

Gina Norman [2:14 PM]:

Have you ever heard Foster Street by the Beelzebubs (Tufts)  [ed note: an a cappella group.  The co-worker in question was in her college a cappella group.]

Julie [2:14 PM]:

hmm i’ve heard the group

Gina Norman [2:15 PM]:

is on my iTunes — listen to it… is OLD — my college era… pre digital… 1988ish?

Gina Norman [2:16 PM]:

their version of comfortably numb/brain damage is fab

Julie [2:16 PM]:

oh wow. old school!

Gina Norman [2:16 PM]:

yep. as am i

Julie [2:16 PM]:

haha that’s awesome

Gina Norman [2:17 PM]:

I think this is the point where I say I have a Capella recordings that are older than you are, right? [ed note: This was, of course, intended to be a joke. ha ha ha ha]

Julie [2:17 PM]:

haha. if they predate 1986, then yes

Gina Norman [2:17 PM]:

oh f*ck

Gina Norman [2:17 PM]:

that’s not even funny

Gina Norman [2:17 PM]:

seriously

Julie [2:17 PM]:

sorry..  :-/

 

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Benefit concert at the ArtsCenter Dec. 6!

Help support women’s reproductive health and rights (while seeing a great concert) by attending the Rock for Reproductive Rights at the Carrboro ArtsCenter on Saturday, Dec. 6.

Ipas, a Chapel Hill-based non-profit organization that works for women’s reproductive rights and health issues around the world, will host the fifth annual Rock for Reproductive Rights benefit concert, featuring Caitlin Cary and the Savoy Doucet Cajun Band, featuring Michael Doucet, the Grammy award-winning lead singer and fiddler from Beausoleil, and Ann and Marc Savoy, both well-known musicians hailing from Louisiana .

You can support Ipas by sponsoring the concert with a tax deductible contribution. Concert sponsors who donate $50 or more will receive two complimentary tickets to the concert. Ipas appreciates your support. Click here to make a donation.

Tickets can be purchased by calling the ArtsCenter at (919)929-2787 or online at the ArtsCenter website .

(In the spirit of full disclosure, I work for Ipas… and also think this is going to be a great show for a great cause!  Time for change!)