It had been awhile since MCM made it to a songwriter-in-the-round session at the Bluebird. For one, getting into any show there since it was immortalized in the Nashville television series is an effort. Then there’s also the challenge of keeping up with and scouring their on-line schedule to not miss a special touring-artist show. In this regard, I give thanks to Peter David Case for the e-mail announcing his upcoming visit well in advance. Little did I ever expect that he would be bringing along Drivin N Cryin’s Kevn Kinney and “local boy” Robyn Hitchcock for what turned out to be a truly special show.
The scheduled 9pm show time started a little late when the local boy didn’t arrive until a few minutes after show time. After some tuning and chatting, the round was started by host Case and went counter-clockwise with “home-team” Hitchcock batting last. When all was said and done, we got to see each of the three give us seven stripped down acoustic songs from their respective works.
The makeup of this trio seemed a bit odd until I later learned that Case and Kinney had previously toured together. Although Case started out as a power-popper with The Nerves and The Plimsouls, he has been a folkie tried and true since the 1986 release of his “before Americana was called Americana” classic eponymous debut solo record. Kinney still regularly fronts his rock band, but since 1990’s solo MacDougal Blues, he knows how to fall into the folk vein nicely himself.
How Hitchcock came to join this group I haven’t a clue. But, he has always proved himself quite versatile, and together the three made for quite an entertaining evening. There was however little, if any, musical help from one to another. Mostly two just watched and listened while the other played. Notable was the fact that Hitchcock was sincerely intrigued by his two fellow musicians, filling the evening with many interesting questions and observations about their songs, guitars and playing.
In fact, the between song banter, was as enjoyable as the singing and playing. Hitchcock’s keen sense of wit accompanied his aforementioned curiosity, Kinney himself was quite funny and generally sarcastic while Case was more of a storyteller. Arrests, teenage band names and songwriter shows were the topics most aired in this forum.
The music was well played and sang. The fans generally loved it, but as usually happens at the Bluebird these days, a few tables of folks from Iowa or Kansas expecting to see Deacon or Gunnar (from the Nashville show) left early disappointed. One thing about the club that really annoyed me tonight was how noisy the waitresses were. I love and respect the club’s posted SHHH! Policy, but I guess they need some employee training!
Finally, while the Bluebird’s bread and butter are local singer-songwriter shows, it’s great to see some out-of-towners like Case and Kinney showcase their skills in this delightfully intimate environment.
- If I Go Crazy (Peter Case)
- Sometimes I Wish I Didn’t Care (Kevn Kinney)
- The Devil’s Coachman (Robyn Hitchcock)
- The Long Good Time (Peter Case)
- Ooh La La (Kevn Kinney)
- Sally Was a Legend (Robyn Hitchcock)
- All Dressed Up (For Trial) (Peter Case)
- These Are the Things That I See (Kevn Kinney)
- Sinister But She Was Happy (Robyn Hitchcock)
- Pelican Bay (Peter Case)
- Scarred But Smarter (Kevn Kinney)
- Trouble in Your Blood (Robyn Hitchcock)
- Two Angels (Peter Case)
- (unknown) (Kevn Kinney)
- San Francisco Patrol (Robyn Hitchcock)
- Somebody Told the Truth (Peter Case)
- Let’s Go Dancing (Kevn Kinney)
- I Pray When I’m Drunk (Robyn Hitchcock)
- Old Blue Car (Peter Case)
- Broken Hearts and Auto Parts (Kevn Kinney)
- Madonna of the Wasps (Robyn Hitchcock)