Monday, December 01, 2008

Justin Townes Earle at the Toff

Justin Townes Earle - Toff In Town - 30/11/08

A heavy duty social weekend culminated in the Justin Townes Earle show at the Toff In Town last night.

I’d never been to the venue before, and I must say my first impressions were less than positive when trying to get a drink at the bar, with poor service and loud horrible music permeating the place, but once inside the band room it improved considerably.

Even though it was a long wait for Justin Townes Earle to front the stage it was worth the wait, and I forgave him my tired legs and aching feet at the end of the night after witnessing what can only be described as a sensationally good night’s entertainment.

It was a standing only show, so I got myself a good position in front of the stage only a few metres at times from the star of the show. It also allowed me to get some good photos.

As for Justin’s performance, it was riveting to watch, and as has been remarked elsewhere on
the blogosphere, one felt one was witnessing greatness in embryo.

I totally concur with the statement made by Chattanooga Free Press "I have a feeling that in a few years we'll need backstage passes at the Ryman auditorium to get anywhere near him. He's just THAT good."

He gave the packed audience a night to remember, playing for something like two and a half hours, ranging through any number of genres, and channelling old time country like a ghost of Hank Williams or Buck Owens.

As well as having a voice to be reckoned with, he is also a fantastically good guitarist, playing non stop and speedily adapting his chord structure to fit the songs.

Words really fail me describing his performance; you just had to BE there.

In other music news, Lucinda Williams will finally be touring Australia in April and playing at Hamer Hall in Melbourne, as well as venues in other cities. She was to tour some years ago but cancelled when her mother died. A bitter disappointment it was at the time, so cross fingers she makes it this time.

There are so many good artists scheduled for next year’s festivals that one would need to get a second job to afford to go and see them all. As well as Lucinda and Ryan Adams, there’s Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, Old Crow Medicine Show etc. etc. So far I’ve only booked for Ryan, but regretfully passed on Leonard Cohen and Neil Young, the tickets being way too expensive, and you just can’t go to everything. I saw Leonard Cohen live many years ago, ironically at the Comedy Theatre, and I recall it being a great show.

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