Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Marah and Jackie Greene goodness
I've been able to see some great live music recently. I had never heard of Jackie Greene, but I saw him open up for Marah and was really impressed. He and his band are some seriously cool dudes, offering a blend of blues and rock. Greene is quite a youngster, but he definitely has the feel for blues. He's been compared to Dylan (I guess anyone who is a mark above the average will get compared to Dylan these days) and even Sprinsteen (ditto). He put me a little more in mind of Clapton, musically, but I think the main reason he gets those comparisons is simply because he has such a compelling presence on stage. He's obviously talented--good voice, moves easily between keys and guitar--but there is also a soulfulness about him that belies his youth. I'm glad I stumbled into hearing him on my way to Marah, anyway.
I was really looking forward to seeing one of my favorite bands, and I had the usual disappointments in my particular venue. I thought the guitars drowned out too much of the vocals (just like the Jayhawks), which is really a shame. I love the lyrics and I think Dave and Serge have great voices that really interpret the songs beautifully. I have to admit that not having seen them live before, I'm not sure how much of the vibe I was getting was their usual down-and-out, hard-luck, band-of-the people routine, or if they really were a band that wanted to drive the "fucking van into the river." Hmmm. Maybe I'm just too much of a softie for rock-and-roll. I was consumed with that confused maternal instinct that wanted to wash their clothes, make them dinner, and give them gas money for the road! And the encore was a U2 cover? Ooookay. I would rather hear any honest-to-God Marah song than the best cover of U2. What's up with that? Well, having said all that, I was still happy, happy to see them in person, and will probably go see them again if they survive this tour. BTW: the image above is courtesy of the ShinyGun, which has this cool interview with Serge. It's funny that he mentions being such a big fan of Dickens, because I was just saying that Dave, with his motley get-up, on stage reminds me of Fagin!