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There's a lot of good musicians who are unheard of. Get it down before they pass away - Brownie McGhee

Author Topic: Steve James at Fischer Hall  (Read 2739 times)

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Offline Rivers

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Steve James at Fischer Hall
« on: November 14, 2005, 03:31:58 PM »
Hot from a tour of Europe Steve James played historic Fischer Hall, Texas on Saturday night. Your correspondant was there and is pleased to report that, on a star-studded though nicely low-key night in the hill country, I have never seen him play better.

Steve arrived with a trunk load of instruments and I got to help carry them into the hall. This was good for my reputation among the assembled pickers, one of whom gave me high fives. 8) Kicking off with his Stack Lee's Blues we were treated to a high energy romp through Mr James's greatest hits. Talco Girl, Sonny Payne, Greasy Greens stood out but there were others I didn't recognize presumably from the last CD Fast Texas which I haven't got yet.

A sing-along Saturday Night In Jail on solo mandolin was supposed to be the end but a standing ovation and very loud calls for an encore from Cheryl in particular extracted Huggin' & A Chalkin'. To my surprise, since I wouldn't have thought he played it as much as the others, he totally nailed it. Love those Hoagy songs, though Steve set me right afterwards on who actually wrote it. But that's another story.

Anyway, great to see Steve at the top of his game and still, apparently, getting better.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2005, 03:35:46 PM by Rivers »

Offline Blind_Jim_G

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Re: Steve James at Fischer Hall
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2007, 09:04:40 AM »
I see I'm late to this party, but I'm used to it.  Nice to see even short, year-old reviews of Steve's shows.   He doesn't seem to play here in MA anymore, which is a cryin' shame.  Last time I caught him up here was about 10 years ago (he has played more recently than that, but I missed those). Middle of the Week, in front of about 30 folks in a room that seats about 150.   We were enthused and enthralled, but apparently we weren't drinking  fast enough, so they had him shut it down after a very short second set.   I gave the owner an earful and haven't been back since. (The Club was Johnny D's,  and I don't know if she's even still alive, but Carla D used to sit at the end of the Bar every night, chain smoking cigarettes).   

That was my long-winded way of saying I'm happy that Steve is getting calls for Encores by appeciative listeners (and club owners) somewhere in the world. 

Hopefully you've added 'Fast Texas' to your collection by now.  I have everything but the Del Ray collaborations and 'Fast Texas' is his best yet.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2007, 09:58:20 AM by Blind_Jim_G »

Offline Rivers

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Re: Steve James at Fischer Hall
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2007, 04:27:44 PM »
Blind Jim G,

Hey I live in Austin about a mile and quarter from Steve and he never plays here much either!

Yes, I've got Fast Texas by now. My feeling about it is there are, as always, some good tracks on it but it's not quite as warm as the others IMO. Production sounds a little hard to my ears. I'll listen to it again and might well hear it differently.

Boom Chang is probably my favorite SJ album, it's as close as a contemporary country blues album could ever get to being a concept album (I'm from the Sixties), the program and mix are really strong.

Rivers

Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: Steve James at Fischer Hall
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2007, 01:20:49 AM »
Last September, Steve and Del played an excellent gig for me here in the UK and gave very helpful guitar workshops as part of our annual local arts festival.

I recommend their duo CD, "Tonight".

This year we've got Roy Book Binder coming along.
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
Barbecue Bob

Offline Blind_Jim_G

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Re: Steve James at Fischer Hall
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2007, 04:12:57 AM »
Roy puts on a great show.  Sometimes he even plays a song or two.   ;D

Getting back to Steve, as far as sound quality goes his first one was always my favorite. Nice intimate feel to it.   The second one, American Primitive, I initially hated.  Partly I was expecting more solo guitar and there were band instruments all over it.   I got over that pretty quickly, but I've never gotten used to the heavy echo.  Fast Texas had Steve's best vocals yet IMHO, particularly on '4 or 5 Times'. 

Offline twangmeister

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Re: Steve James at Fischer Hall
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2007, 05:46:35 AM »
Hey PP

When and where is Roy going to be playing in the UK?

TM

Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: Steve James at Fischer Hall
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2007, 07:13:23 AM »
Greetings Twangmeister,

Roy's playing in the Rye Arts Festival (on the south coast close to Hastings) on Sat. 15 September.  Details not quite finalised, but it looks like he'll be giving a workshop during the day and then performing in concert in the evening.  Roy puts on a great show and is well worth travelling for.

Other items of blues/guitar interest booked so far are John Smith and Richard Studholme's Blue Devils.  Send me your e-mail address and I'll get you put on the mailing list.

Keep twanging.
Michael
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
Barbecue Bob

Offline Rivers

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Re: Steve James at Fischer Hall
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2007, 06:11:56 PM »
I listened to Fast Texas again today on me ipod at work and realize it's pretty deep (for a Steve James album  ;D ). So I take it all back.

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