· ~ ·We began with the return of DJ Parsons. He's a local luthier (parsonsguitarrepair.com) who's repaired two out of three instruments from Showcase house band Laughing Boy (wow, two plugs in one sentence!). He's also a great interpreter of folk songs from the last 50 years or so.
He opened the set with a particularly nice song -- Glen Campbell's Gentle On My Mind. Not only a great song, but one particularly suited to DJ's strengths: clear, fluid finger picking, and an understated yet emotional vocal style.
DJ's set included radio favorites like Gentle, one or two from John Prine, a sea shanty, and Where Have All The Flowers Gone from "the world's oldest living hippy," Pete Seeger. Then, with a few minutes left, and a couple of old favorites still to play, DJ spontaneously welcomed David Moore (guitar) and David Keevil (harmonica), and the whole hanging-out-with-my-friends-playing-tunes-in-my-living-room vibe was firmly established on such songs as Country Roads. (And the barristas were singing along... steaming lattes in rhythm...)
|photo by Griffin Keevil|
· ~ ·The next set featured the return of Nathan Thompson to the Acoustic Showcase. I love hearing from Nathan -- he's got a great tenor voice, and he's not afraid to explore the top of his range and beyond, to great effect. His guitar playing is expressive and varied, with full-throated strumming on some songs, and emphatic, thumping bass runs on others. At times he lets his guitar fold into the background -- distant commentary -- as his voice carries the song.
I also love Nathan's sense of humor. Great rapport with his listeners -- he's obviously enjoying himself, and he's happy to share the experience. The humor comes through in his songwriting as well: anyone who rhymes "house" with "occasional grouse" is OK in my book! (Not that every song is humorous; we also heard a couple of affecting loss-and-loneliness numbers that were a treat.)
· ~ ·Nathan finished his set on a high note (literally and figuratively), and exited the rug to make way for David Moore. David has been with the Acoustic Showcase almost since its inception nearly three years ago. His blend of original acoustic pop music goes over like a tasty libation (not the sort offered at Starbucks), and affects my mood in similar fashion.
David was joined by Tim Feihler on bass (and occasional backing vocals), and Tom Smith on snare drum. This trio hops and bops! What's not to like: David's strong, flexible voice and masterful guitar licks; Tim's steady, playful, expressive bass work; Tom's snappy beat and wide array of drum effects. Great music from great musicians -- can't beat it with a stick!
· ~ ·And so we bid a fond farewell to another edition of the Acoustic Showcase -- three men with guitars, but so much more! Special thanks goes to David Moore, who brought along his very nice Bose PA system last night -- great sound, and easy to use -- we have an official case of techno-envy.
See you next time!