Saturday, April 18, 2009
Shiner Bock & Ray La Montagne
It's a well known fact that I live for great music. Between Pandora and XM, I'm becoming part of more and more fan bases ever-ree-day. My new favorite channel is Coffeehouse and my new favorite artist in the last few weeks is Ray Lamontagne, his voice is intoxicating. Apparently I missed the boat on this one as I'm one of the last music lovers to catch on to this gem of a singer. I just happened to look for things happening at Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland tonight and got last minute tickets for his show. Conicidence? I think not. I think the music gods had this planned out all along. I mean really, what are the chances I would be in Cleveland on a whim when he was at the State Theatre.
From our seats, he looked like a skinny version of Kenny Loggins circa 1970's, plaid shirt and all. I actually think that he might have been fast-forwarded about 30+ years ahead of his time. Describe his sound? Well, you really have to hear it to understand. He's got this sweet raspy sound that reverberates off the walls. It's an older sound, something you'd hear in the blues clubs after the turn of the century. There's some kind of conviction in his voice that comes from somewhere deep inside, but then just when you least expect it, the quietness of his voice comes through. You would never expect such a sound to come out of a man who looks and sounds (speaking voice) so timid. I got lost in a daydream down some path during "Let It Be Me." I wondered how much it would cost to hire him to sing that song at my wedding. If you are truly a fan of music, you can't help getting both lost and blown away by his sound and the thoughts in his lyrics. Truly one of the most amazing voices I've ever heard.
After the show, it was perfect - low 60's, calm, clear. We wandered down the street towards the bars and live music cafes like fireflys attracted to the light; which really wasn't hard since the pub crawl was a lighted alleyway filled with inebriated patrons who only served as slow motion hurdles for the lightening fast valets that shot down the alleyway like bullets. Just at the end, there it was, the live music mecca becokoned. Flannery's. Imagine it. Corner pub, mahogany and brass bar, filled with the sounds of more live rockin' blues and drunken bar chatter. This is a place I could get comfy in. We just sat for about 3 hours and drank and talked about all kinds of shit that old friends talk about. It's been a while since I last had a long sit down with a good beer but me and a few brown bottles of Shiner Bock got right to it. I forgot how preachy I can get with a few beers in me...yeah, imagine that right?
What a great night. Cleveland really does rock!