Concert (and CD) Reviews:
Buddy Wasisname; Thompson-Patterson Jazz; Eva Cassidy
Thursday night, my son and I went to see and hear Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers. It was an evening and money well-spent. The songs were hilarious, and the energy and antics of Buddy make the show well-worth seeing. Also, his monologues [including how he personally caused the 2003 electrical blackout] were extremely well-done. My only problem with the group is that sometimes I can't make out the words as they're singing. And non-Canadians might not appreciate the nuances of some bits ["We don't want those folks in Mississauga to be unemployed and come to Newfoundland looking for work."] Finally, I think it would be better if they used "I'se the b'y" [the de facto Newfoundland Provincial Anthem] to open or as an encore; "Saltwater Joy" is a nice song but a wimpy encore number.
Overall, though, the energy, facial expressions, and antics of the group make the show a trememdous hit. They sang three songs from the album, "Flatout", including "Sarah", which I had said was one of my favourites. Their musicality has greatly improved since they cut that album.
We had a terrific time.
Roy Patterson (guitar) and Don Thompson (Bass and Piano) played at the Wandering Minstrel in Stratford on Friday. Unfortunately, they had to spend the afternoon and early evening setting up their recording equipment and didn't have the opportunity to spend as much time rehearsing and planning together for the concert as they had counted on. They were still really good, but I didn't think they were as good as they had been when we heard them play together last summer.
The last song of their first set, and the first two numbers of the second set had many flashes of brilliance, however, that brought back memories of their previous Wandering Minstrel concert. If I get a chance, I'll try to drag my son and his wife to hear them again tonight. After last night's concert and after being able to spend more time together going over that one, I expect that tonight's concert will be back at the superb level we heard last summer. There's an excellent chance that from these two concerts, they will be able to put together a pretty decent CD (assuming the sound engineers can edit out Friday night's thunderstorm!). For details about reservations for tonight's concert, click here. Mark Rowsome, proprietor of the Wandering Minstrel, has a big selection of their CDs available at good prices.
Update: I did go to Saturday night's concert as well, and it was much better. They told me during the intermission that setting up and getting the equipment ready on Friday had indeed affected their performance; they also were quite chagrined that the balance was off for much of the Friday recording.
While we were talking with Mark, he highly recommended the CDs by Eva Cassidy. We bought "Songbird" and listened to it on the way home (and again upon our arrival at home). Her arrangements of Autumn Leaves, Wade in the Water, and Over the Rainbow are first-rate. I can see why people like her music. Both Ms. Eclectic and I probably have more of a liking for the actual voices of Diana Krull or Barbra Streisand, but Eva Cassidy's voice has/had a nice true pitch to it. We both remarked several times that Cassidy's arrangements were fabulous but I wonder if they might sound even better if Streisand did them.
According to the album notes, Eva Cassidy died at age 33, in 1996, of cancer.
A sad loss, given what we heard on this album.
Update: Saturday, when we were at the concert, I bought her other collection-album, Wonderful World. It's just as good.