Friday, June 16, 2006

Another tasty appetizer: Raul Midon

Caught Joe Jackson at the Vic last night (same venue as the Ditty Bops/Nickel Creek I blogged on a few months ago -- one of the best houses in Chicago for music).

I don't know where Joe finds his opening acts, probably just some agent somewhere, but I'm hoping he's active on the NYC music scene. A previous show he brought Mary Lee's Corvette, a folkish rocker, and this time Raul Midon (sorry, I'm too lazy for accents). A blind jazz-blues-pop guitar god with a playing style I've never seen before -- I'm glad I saw him, because I'd never believe that his act is solo if I just heard it. His slap/pluck/strum style of playing makes it sound like several instruments, plus his vocal trumpeting (can't describe it, gotta hear it) is amazing. Bought the CD at the show -- gotta give these small acts some green.

Joe was having a bit of an off night, flubbed a few lines and just seemed not quite there. I've been catching him almost every tour since 1979, and he's certainly changed. Ten years ago, he'd have been fuming and swearing (like he did over a malfunctioning synth at the Park West), last night he just laughed it off. I will admit that even I would have a tough time singing Zappa's "Dirty Love" with a straight face, but he just wasn't "on". Still, a great time. The Joe Jackson Trio is the original band, less guitar. Graham Maby is still the best bassist alive, and Dave Houghton, for being off the scene for 20 years, can sure kick up the rhythm on the drums -- all electronic pads this time instead of a standard kit.

Highlights: A rollicking boogie piano version of "Dirty Martini", the above "Dirty Love", "On Your Radio" and probably the most album-like version of "Steppin' Out" he's done since Night and Day was issued.

Raul Midon :: The Official Site :: Welcome!
Joe Jackson

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