May 2009 The Flatlanders (Alladin)

May 27, 2009

‘Plan B’ proves successful, for sure

This month, I went to the Flatlanders show in Portland. If you don’t know, it’s a band of three Texas singer-songwriters, who over the last 30 years, have put out four or five albums. They’ve got a new album, Hills and Valleys, from which they played a lot of songs from on this current tour. The band lineup is Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and Butch Hancock. Each is a stellar musician in their own right, and it’s a really nice deal to see them all together. They were supported by an additional electric guitar player, drums, bass, and a guest on accordion – Bukka Allen, a talented singer-keyboardist, who opened the show.

I’ve always wanted to check these guys out, so when my “Plan A Concert” for the month fell through, it was on to “Plan B.” But hey, I don’t think the quality degraded in the least. In fact, musically, it was probably an upgrade. But, more on that later.

I must admit, I don’t have much of the back-catalog from these guys. I believe I have at least one cassette from Gilmore, and maybe a song or two, here and there on some compilations, from the others. But after this show, it’s time to track down more of this stuff, for sure. It’s a great mix of Americana, honky-tonk, ballads and country.

An interesting note on these guys: I do know from the local Gorge music circles that our own Rick Hulett (Django's Cadillac) did at one time play in a band with one of these guys – I believe it was Joe Ely.

I think my favorite singer of the night has to go to Jimmie Dale – it’s a mysterious voice, similar to Willie Nelson’s – it really has its own identity. Most songs featured each player singing a verse or two, and there was plenty of harmony to go around. The sound was great, as it is always, at the Aladdin Theater, and even though I didn’t know the songs, everything was understandable, and with some quick research, I was able to track down the set.

So, I guess you’re asking by now, “What was Plan A?” Well, I hate to admit it, but I’m afraid that I did not heed Leon Redbone’s advice (see March show review) of “Not waiting too long in life.” By the time I went online for “Flight of the Conchords” tickets, they were “unavailable at this time.” All the regular seats were gone, and the only tickets available were for a hundred bucks, or more (and I mean much more…..) at these “ticket resale sites.” Have you seen these things? I mean, one site was charging $400 bucks for a $38 ticket. Unbelievable.

So, where were we? Oh yeah, the Conchords. It’s a couple of goofy guys from New Zealand, billed as the country’s fourth most popular folk-comedy act. They have a hit series on HBO, and, I must say, it is quite funny. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and get season one on Netflix, it’s a hoot!

So I’m walking out of the Aladdin after the show, and I’m looking at all the upcoming concert posters on the wall. And there it is – an upcoming comedy show from Todd Barry. If you have seen season one of “Flight of the Conchords,” you’ll recognize him as the annoying bongo player, who catapulted the band to even more stardom.

I was thinking that maybe I should get in line now for tickets, and in ten years, when the Conchords are mega-platinum famous, at least I’ll be able to say that I didn’t actually see the Conchords, but I did see their drummer. J

The Flatlanders

May 20, 2009

Aladdin Theater

I Had My Hopes Up High

Eggs of Your Chickens

Wavin My Heart Goodbye

All That You Need

Julia

Wheels of Fortune

Homeland Refugee

Borderless Love

After the Storm

Midnight Train

Thank God for the Road

No Way I’ll Ever Need You

Love’s Own Chains

The Way We Are

Dallas

Sowing on the Mountain

Encore 1

Baby Do You Love Me Still?

Gimme A Ride to Heaven

Encore 2

Free the Wind

White Freightliner Blues

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