March promises to be heavy duty as far as the live music scene is concerned. I’ve got tickets for six shows, four of them scheduled for two weekends in March.
The first of them will be Eilen Jewell on Friday, 12th March at the East Brunswick Club - already a sold out show. This is the first time Eilen Jewell has toured Australia, which in itself is not surprising as she has only attracted attention over the past couple of years with the release of her second and third records, Letters From Sinners & Strangers (2007) and Sea of Tears (2009). You know there’s something special about her from the first listen. She has a languid, world weary quality to her voice and her choice of songs is interesting and her musical arrangements are unusual – she has a great version of Shakin’ All Over on Sea Of Tears. She also has a fantastic band, particularly her guitarist Jerry Miller, who plays in a wonderful old fashioned rock n roll style.
Check her out on You Tube
On Sunday 14th March I get to see Mary Gauthier once more, playing at Brunswick Town Hall. She will be launching her new CD, The Foundling during her Australian tour; apparently it is a concept album where all the songs relate to her own remarkable history. I do hope she brings Thomm Jutz the wonderful guitarist who accompanied her last time or, if not him, someone of equal brilliance.
I’m very much looking forward to the Lyle Lovett concert at Hamer Hall on Friday 26th March, He must be one of the most unusual looking artists on the planet and his songs are marvellously quirky. Who else could write songs about penguins and ponies on boats?
When I was booking tickets for this show online at the opening of the general public offer, Ticketmaster really stuffed up, and I, along with several other people who were booking at the same time, were offered Row U in the Dress Circle which we naturally rejected. I subsequently discovered, after looking at the Hamer Hall seating chart, that there is no U row in the Dress Circle! Anyway, at the time, it gave the impression that seats were selling like hotcakes, when in fact they were not. I was by this time tossing up whether to wait for a second show announcement. Eventually I decided to try and book tickets for the show directly from the Arts Centre website, and was able to get Row K in the stalls. Rather disappointing as I would prefer to be closer to the front. I discovered a few days later that Ticketmaster had centre Row B and C seats available and cursed inwardly at my luck and panic earlier in the week. But who was to know?
The excitement continues on Sunday, 28th March with The Flatlanders show at Spenserslive, where thanks to a friend alerting me early to the show, I was able to get limited seating tickets. Amanda at the Flop Eared Mule blog has been hanging out for a similar side show in Sydney, but so far it seems that Melbourne is the only city lucky enough to score one so far.
Good Friday eve, 1st April, sees me attending the Old Crow Medicine Show concert at Thornbury Theatre, also sure to be a great show.
Then it’s a bit of a break until 17th April when we’re attending the Justin Townes Earle concert in Geelong. Yes, it’s way out of my territory, but my brother, who was very impressed with JTE’s concert last year at Thornbury Theatre, suggested we go to this show and stay the night at his place in Ocean Grove. The Studio in Geelong is purported to be a great venue, so I’m looking forward to seeing the remarkable Justin Townes Earle perform live again soon.
After that I’ll be sated with live music for a short time at least.
But before all the above, I’m keenly anticipating the next Basement Discs in store at lunchtime on Friday 26th February, which will feature local girl band The Wolfgramm Sisters.
The Wolfgramm Sisters are a trio of real sisters, Talei, Kelly and Eliza, who recently released their debut self titled album. It's a fabulous tribute to their favourite songs and songwriters, performed in the style of their favourite female singers. They display astonishing panache performing classic songs like Little Feat’s “Sailing Shoes”, The Rolling Stones' “Loving Cup”, and even Ryan Adams’ “Come Pick Me Up” sung soulfully in the style of old girl groups like the Staple Singers or the Pointer Sisters. Of course, they have the voices to carry it off splendidly.
Check them out on the link above – you’ll be impressed, and if you’re in the city at around 12.30pm on Friday, 26th come and see them for free at Basement Discs.