Escanaba Show Review 2007

Here are the musicians from last evening's show at 8th Street Coffeehouse in Escanaba, MI:
me, John D. Beck, Jeff Krebs, and my brother Tim.

I've played Christmas vacation shows with John and Jeff many many times over the past decade and it's always a ton of fun. In fact, here's a link to the review I wrote in this blog after our 2006 show.

I opened the gig solo acoustic, and debuted my newest guitar, a 1948 Gibson LG2. Man, it played like a dream, and felt like I've been playing it for years! I'll try to remember my set list...something like:

Bethlehem Tonight
Out Behind the Old Hotel (I've been playing this song constantly since 2000 and I love it every time)
Caught Up in Your Snare (This one bombs every time I do it, even though it's fun for me to perform. The audience always sends out loathing vibes, though....time to retire this one. I think it's a better song in theory than in reality.)
Nothing Old Nothing New
Every Town's the Same
If You Have a Question... (Another new tune that I love love love to play)
I Shook His Hand (Peter Case cover song)

Jeff and John were up next. They just might be the two best folk/rock musician/songwriters in Upper Michigan. They did some of Jeff's solo material (including "Dead Man" from his early-90s California band Molehill) and cool covers by Robert Johnson and the old folk song "Moonshiner."

I jumped back up for our big finale, and we debuted a brand new song "New Eyes" that Jeff and I wrote back at Halloween. I got to play some accordion and drums, so that was a totally fun and rare instrumental situation. Wow, do I ever miss being the utility instrumentalist! It's the funnest job in the band. My brother Tim came up at the end to play drums and I tried out another brand new song of mine called "Get Behind the Wheel." Tim gave it a good Neil Youngish stomp, Jeff played great lead guitar, and John added a cool and shifty faux-reggae bass line. I'm gonna start playing this one all the time! Whee hoo. We closed with a slightly slower and heavier version of "The Sound of the Cicadas." Here's our closing setlist:

New Eyes
Lo How a Rose E'er Blooming
First Snow of the Year
Let it Snow
Honkeytonk Song
Get Behind the Wheel
The Sound of the Cicadas

My family woke up this morning, piled into the Saturn, and traversed Wisconsin. We're home in Minneapolis tonight, and ready to transition to 2008. The performance in Escanaba is always a great way to wrap up the year. Let's do it again next December!


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