For a Karaokegal and Hubby event, things went pretty smoothly. We left around 630PM on the bike and there was already the beginning of fairly long ticket-holder’s line forming. Hubby went to park the bike and I picked up the tickets. There was a moment of panic when I couldn’t remember if I’d put my ID and credit card back in my wallet in my pocket book to prove that I was the person who ordered the tickets, but I had them. There was some jerk in front of me who had someone else’s ID and credit card and was claiming what a big friend of Geoff and Maria Muldaur he was and he should get in and blah blah blah. I don’t know if he got in or not.
You knew it was an old-fogey event because the Great American was set up for an all-seated event, which I’ve never seen before. Normally the downstairs is mostly an open standing space and you have to go up to the balcony to sit down. We went up to the balcony anyway and sat practically over the stage. We were in front of some big fans which were making a lot of noise. The waitress told us they were expecting 400 people and needed full ventilation so the fan wouldn’t be turned off. The fan went off just before the music started and it didn’t look to me like anything close to 400 people in the audience.
Most important to me was having a place to sit and enough light to write, because I’ve broken through a wall I was having with a story in progress and I wanted to get as much done as possible.
The guy who made the documentary Chasin' Gus Ghost was the Emcee.
First band up was The Barbecue Orchestra from Portland who were apparently the late Fritz Richmond’s old band. (Fritz is sort of the guiding spirit of the Jug Band revival along with Jim Kweskin. I just learned most of this from the documentary.) They were way cool. Lots of fun. Unfortunately I don’t really have set lists or names of most of the songs. They finished up by brining Dan Hicks on stage to do “Chattannooga Shoeshine Boy.”
That was followed by the introduction of John Sebastian and David Grisman who played an awesome set together, very mellow. It’s nice to see the people who survived the 60’s and seem to have it together and be happy making music and doing what they love. Then Geoff Muldaur came out and played some amazing blues guitar. He was also joined by a red-headed fiddle babe that I didn’t recognize.
I think Geoff is my favorite performer from the movie and the concert. In the course of show, he played guitar, mandolin, jug and washboard, and he has a great singing voice.
The second half of the show started with Jim Kweskin solo and then the various members of the Jim Kweskin Jug Band and John Sebastian and Grisman in various combinations. It was all just a fun, mellow, happy show. Maria Muldaur was there as well. She had come from another gig and joked about not telling the CHP what they had to do to get there.
Maria lives in the Bay Area and we see her a lot at various blue-grass and old-time music shows. I must admit that for years we’ve been making fun of her because the first time we saw her she was sitting in the audience at a blue-grass show and during one of the gospel numbers, she was doing one of “hand up to god” moves and it just amused us no end. However, she really does have an amazing growly, red-hot-mama, blues voice and did some great numbers with the full band. If you only know her from “Midnight At The Oasis,” there’s a lot more to her career than that.
My absolute, no-holds barred, favorite bit in the show (which was also in the movie) was Geoff Muldaur singing “Sweet Sue” while taking hits off a helium balloon to get the high voice. Absolutely adorable and hysterical. Maria was actually holding the balloons for him. They’re not married anymore (like since the 70’s) but seem very affectionate toward each other.
Anyway-nice show. No drama. Got a lot of writing done.