Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Concert Report - Cowboy Junkies @ Tupelo Music Hall

Patti and I saw the Cowboy Junkies at the Tupelo Music Hall on Sunday night, July 28. We had great seats - second row, not more than 20 feet from Margo Timmins in her center stage spot.

I whine about how much I miss the old Muse at the Grey Goose, the venue that became the Tupelo Music Hall when Meredith retired and sold the business to Scott Hayward. I miss Meredith. I miss the charm of the old Muse. But I have to give Scott credit. Being able to see bands like the Cowboy Junkies (and Bruce Cockburn, and Suzanne Vega, and Arlo Guthrie, and and and...) at the intimate listening room is a special and wonderful thing. Last night was no exception. You can tell how artists are appreciative of being able to play in such a small place, with fantastic acoustics, and with an attentive audience.

I cannot believe that I have NEVER seen the Cowboy Junkies before! Patti saw them play Tupelo last year, but I didn't go that night because I was sick and feeling horrible. I mean REALLY sick and horrible. For me to miss a concert, that's big time hurting.

To this day I can remember the moment the Cowboy Junkies came to my attention. They were interviewed on NPR by, I believe, Scott Simon, shortly after their landmark Trinity Session album was released. Stopped me dead in my tracks. If I remember correctly, Trinity Session was the very first compact disc album I ever bought! That had to be, what, 1988. And I didn't even own my own CD player at the time! I still have that very same CD too. Played it last night.

The concert was wonderful and intimate, and I was entranced by Margo's voice. Patti thought it was too loud, but it was just this side of too loud for me. But Patti says I'm deaf. (What? Can't hear ya.) The set was a good mix of songs from their latest album, At The End of Paths Taken, and old favorites - especially from Trinity Session. They played Richie Havens' Handouts in the Rain in preparation for next weeks Newport Folk Festival, as they will be sharing the stage with Richie. Margo is particularly nervous over that.

They also played three new songs in a row, Confessions of Georgia E, The Girl Behind the Man Behind the Gun, and Angels in the Wilderness. Margo remarked that it was unusual to play so many new songs in one set, and she blamed it on Michael for making the set list.

The set lasted for just about two hours:

Brand New World
Lay It Down
I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry
Those Final Feet
I Don't Get It
Handouts In The Rain (Richie Havens)
Confessions of Georgia E
The Girl Behind the Man Behind the Gun
Angels in the Wilderness
Bread and Wine
Someday Soon
My Wild Child
To Love Is To Bury
Highway Kind
Follower 2
Misguided Angel
Working on a Building

The opening act was spoken word artist Tim Mason. Well known in New England folk circles as the booking agent for the legendary Club Passim (and prior to that, The Old Vienna Kaffeehaus in Westboro, MA) Tim's poetry was a refreshing change for an opening act. His voice and delivery and humor and storytelling were spellbinding.

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