Saturday, March 04, 2006

gig 004 - w/Alan Gerber

Saturday March 5, 2006
@ Café Pazzazz on rue de l'église in Val-David, Quebec
9:40 – 12:40

Alan Gerber – vocals, keys, fiddle, slide guitar, powerstomp (
John Sobol – tenor sax (

Ist set bandmembers
Eli Gerber (13) – electric and acoustic guitars
Hannah Gerber (10) – vocals and tambourine

40 spectators
Set 1: 65 minutes
Set 2: 75 minutes
All Alan's own tunes except for a few old faves like You Are My Sunshine & Summertime & I'll be Glad When You're Dead You Rascal You
Alan's tunes are fabulous
masterpieces like Bad, But Not So Bad, Quick Service & Embarassed
some that I just heard for the first time tonight
(this being only our second gig together)
are irrestible
his is a stunning repertoire of original songs
and his interpretations are out of this world

no press no pizza no dressing room
$18 dollar cover charge
about 3/4 full and very charged up
mostly by Alan
who is an animal
relentless yet sublime
and totally out of his mind
in the music

but still very skilled at being in the here and now
exceptionally so
his approach to his audience is really like a busker's
show no mercy
resistance is futile
the way a good busker can part a sea of people with a wave
alan does it with a song
and googlyeyes

and in particular i think what he does that is the same as a busker is he constantly addresses his audience directly as himself – tells them exactly what he's doing at any time, narrates the moment, tells people what he's going to do next, and then does it
and then tells them the next thing
and they love it

so that the interstitial moments eventually merge with the performances
become one narrative moment
all equally fun and in-your-face
and all equally Alan and nobody else
and he's funny and fast as hell

and the letting go
combined with the killer barrelhouse piano
and the fun
and the great songs
would be badass enough

were it not for the chicago firecracker up his ass
the whistling kid from the windy city
singing blue alleys in black vinyl grooves
preaching each song with a powerful conviction
singing the blues
like it was an electric rebirth

praise be to funk
in the warm embrace of the appreciative crowd
it is

I blew hard
played the first set's songs better than in rehearsal
and in the second just jammed on all kinds of alan's songs

overall I played pretty well
but blew out my reed early in the second set
made my horn playable but aggravating

alan liked when we were rocking
him wailling slide electric stomp blues like a fiend
me wailing right next to him
catching his melody line and us really ripping it up like a buzzsaw
yeah there were several moments where it was really very happening!

for anyone who has read my blog this far and who doesn't know Alan Gerber here are two amazing facts about him:

1) he's played with Muddy Waters, Lou Reed, Jimi Hendrix, John Lee Hooker, Jerry Garcia and lots of other amazing musicians and he is definitely worth checking out and 2) he's my neighbour

Amazing eh?


Risk Factor: 8
Riff Factor: 8
Success Factor: Humbling Exhaustion
Wild Card: Eli and Hannah
Cash Factor: 8
Parking Lot: covered in snow
Joy: 9.5
Obliteration: 9


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