Show Report Round-Up – Chris Knight, Dave Rawlings Machine, Tom Russell, Firecracker Festival

I have quite a few show reports in the backlog and just thought I would go through and talk about them all in one post. These shows are months old but the main reason for this post is to show some of the vids.

Chris Knight @ Kirk Avenue Music Hall – Roanoke, VA 5/1/10
I was really excited about this show, being my first time seeing Chris Knight. This was pretty much a solo gig, just him on acoustic with Chris Clark on acoustic and sometimes accordion. The opener was a local guy named Corey Hunley who did a damned good job (watch vids of him here & here). The crowd was mostly good ol’ boys and pretty rowdy, this being a Saturday night show and all. I bet 90% of the folks in there were singing the words to every song. The ones who weren’t singing along had likely just started dating whoever they came with. One highlight of the show for me was this accordion version of North Dakota….it was killer. (more Chris Knight vids from that night here)

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Dave Rawlings Machine @ Jefferson Center – Roanoke, VA 6/10/10
Another show I was super excited about. This one took place at the larger Jefferson Center which to me is a big venue but most would consider it small. It used to be an old school’s auditorium and the acoustics in there are amazing, even Gillian commented on how well it sounded. I was up in the balcony for this, and I don’t think I was prepared for just HOW GOOD they were gonna be. I mean WOW! They were joined on stage by Ketch Secor and Morgan Jahnig of Old Crow Medicine Show. This was mostly a Dave Rawlings showcase (as the billing implied) but Gillian was there singing those beautiful harmonies the whole time and she did do a couple old favorites (like Miss Ohio). Was surprised that after the show they came out into the crowd and were two of the friendliest and genuinely nicest people I think I have ever had the pleasure to talk to. Definitely go see them if you get a chance. This vid below (of the unreleased song Throw Me A Rope) goes kind of off center because I had the screen off on the cam to cut down on the distracting light and didn’t like looking through the viewfinder the whole time. Even though the acoustics at the show were amazing…they did not transfer as well to the cam. Too far away I guess. Here is another vid of Ruby.

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Tom Russel @ Kirk Avenue Music Hall – Roanoke, VA 6/11/10
That’s right, this was the following night and Roanoke is an hour drive for me but how could I skip a Tom Russell show? Again another highly anticipated show. Tom was AMAZING! He was with Thad Beckman who as Tom said, was a master of all americana guitar styles. The crowd at this show was a little different from the one at the Chris Knight show…this one was mostly older folks, and they hung on every word. Rightfully so. Tom loosened up shortly after playing and working the crowd a bit to see what kind of crowd he had…he told great great stories to every song, we all ate it up, and the show was just a real treat. I will definitely go see him any time he comes back through. I took a whole slew of vids for this one but I will only showcase the one for Ash Wednesday below. If you want to see the others, go here.

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6th Annual Firecracker Festival @ The Cactus Cafe – Austin, TX 7/3/10
I like to think I lucked into seeing this show, as I never would have known about it had I not asked Betty-Soo on twitter where I might be able to catch her live while I was in Texas. I was actually trying to weasel my way into some private gig I saw she had in Dallas, but so glad she told me about this one. The Firecracker Festival is sort of an annual tradition around the 4th of July at the Cactus Cafe in Austin that features female singer-songwriters. This year was Bettysoo’s first year as the master of ceremonies, having had it handed off to her from Charlie Faye I think (sorry if that’s wrong, I’m going by a memory from over a month ago here). Edit: It was indeed wrong. Abi Tapia was the host from 05-08 and this was Bettysoo’s second year as host.

Bettysoo was the only artist I had heard of prior to the show. The performers were, in order of appearance: Mo McMorrow, Vanessa Lively, Jean Synodinos, Barbara Kay, Bettysoo, and Noelle Hampton. ALL were amazing. As a matter of fact Vanessa Lively, likely the youngest of the bunch, performed a south american song off her latest album that was the most passionate performance of a song I have ever seen. I got that on film too…but you know what…I lost my effin’ camera card. There was no beer involved in that, just pure dumbassery. I did manage to upload one video from the night before I lost the card, and it’s a good one too. It was the last song of the night where everyone got on stage and sang Noelle Hampton’s Hallelujah as a sing-along with everyone out in the crowd (not to be confused with THAT Hallelujah).

I will say I was VERY impressed with Barabara Kay. She used to be one half of the group Timbuk 3 (famous in the 80’s for The Future’s So Bright I Got To Wear Shades). She reminded me of kind of a cross between Lucinda Williams and James McMurtry. Just HUGE energy and talent coming from her. Special mention to the sidemen of the night:  Richard Bowden (who I was told is an Austin staple) on fiddle, Noelle’s husband Andre Moran on guitar, and Bettysoo’s husband Dave Terry on drums.

A note: the above video is the last video you will see from my lost camera. RIP Fujifilm Finepix, you had a good run.

  • Noëlle Hampton

    October 22nd, 2010

    Reply

    Hey there!
    I was so happy to hear that you had made it to the show. It was a wonderful evening. I didn’t realize you had this video and I love the way it turned out. (sorry to hear about the camera :( )
    Thanks for posting this. I would love to share it, but couldn’t get the URL…..
    Anyway, hope to see you soon!
    Noëlle

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