Pete's Blog

CD Release Concert

Last night's CD Release Concert went very well, despite the absence oif the actual discs, which I found on my doorstep this morning a good 12 hours after they were promised. Still, the story was the music and the music was great. This is due in large part to the presence of Dave Bristow at the piano beside me. His skills are quite evident on the album - as I'm sure all of you will find out soon enough - but the concert demonstrated another, paramount skill. This guy can really listen. I tried, I really tried to get us lost. My playing was full of egregiously missed cues and outright clams on the proverbial half-shell. But no matter how deliberately or otherwise I attempted to throw us off, Dave was able to lay back at the first sign of trouble and then pounce like a hungry owl on the proper downbeat and return us to course. Curse you, Bristow! You have foiled me again! We did most of the tunes on the album, minus the overdubbed percussion, of course. For all the enjoyment of building grooves after the fact there is something about the duet format that was really satisfying. The absence of drums and bass made for a spacious, airy sound that gave us lots of room to play with dynamics and, mais naturellement, anything I suggested in this line was immediately read, followed, and enhanced by Dave. Highlights were a torrid "Root Man Boogie," which Dave likes because he can play 8 to the bar in the left hand - the apotheosis of Meade Lux Bristow; "From the Island," full of understated lyricism; a funky, stomping "Down the River": and "Nobody's Daddy," which had Bubbles hollerng from the stalls. Opening band Manabozho's well-crafted set combined Freak Folk whimsy with earthier rhythms under the firm hand of leader Adam Foley. I'd like to hear them in a more expansive context next time, preferably when I'm not pacing about backstage waiting to go on. They're good. And special thanks to Lois and Will for their invaluable help.

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