Friday, April 18, 2008

Greg Brown & Bo Ramsey - The Last Duet


The final chapter of Hervé Oudet’s Acoustic in Paris concert series at La Pomme d’Eve couldn’t have been written better then was last nights concert by Iowan’s Greg Brown and Bo Ramsey. This writer has long been a fan of both artists- Brown for his top-notch singing and songwriting skills and Ramsey for his fine guitar playing as well as his production skill of not only Brown, but also Lucinda Williams, Jeffery Foucault and others. In fact Brown’s 2006 release The Evening Call (produced and played on by Ramsey) is one my all time favorite albums. Slow, stately, spacious and excellently crafted, the album is, beginning to end, a joy! So, all of that being said, you can understand my excitement to have the opportunity to see them for two nights in the close confines of Paris’s La Pomme d’Eve. I’m not sure when either artist was last in Paris but folks really packed the small room to overflowing. I think a venue twice as large would have been too small. (More European visits might be in order Greg and Bo?).
Nevertheless, Bo Ramsey took the stage at just after 20H00 and proceeded to weave his subtle swamp, slurping guitar magic over a rapt audience. Barely touching the strings of his amplified acoustic guitar, Ramsey sang many of the songs from his latest release Fragile. Simple song stories wrapped around with reverb and vibrato soaked guitar notes were much appreciated by the standing room only audience.
A short break and back came the long partnered duo. Greg Brown, a big man, was in a Parisian mode tonight. Clutching a glass of red wine and with shades and beret firmly in place, both men saddled up and for the next 2 hours, gave us all a wonderful performance. Greg Brown has a low, baritone voice, which he uses with great command and uses the guitar more or less to frame his lyrics. A little bit of jazzy, ragtime influenced juice weaved itself into his songs but with Ramsey’s always tasteful lead guitar entwined throughout, there is a solidness about the music that makes it totally satisfying. Both nights were remarkable performances not the least made so because they played totally different songs each night! All the long years and miles were evidenced in Brown’s performance. A firm command of his material, the magic of two gifted musicians creating music together and the obvious joy and respect these artists feel for their music and audience, made this a concert that will long be remembered. As I left for home last night I was feeling that I had somehow been changed. That my soul had been stretched, messaged and then put back together in a slightly newer and better version of what it was at the beginning of the evening. The gift of music indeed!
Bookerfatz2

Photo: Greg Brown - La Pomme d’Eve, Paris – April 16, 2008

Photos and setlist: www.acousticinparis.com and blueumbrella.hautetfort.com

Web:
www.gregbrown.org
Web: www.boramsey.com

Bo Ramsey - Sidetrack Lounge .mp3
Bo Ramsey - Stranger Blues .mp3
Greg Brown - Hey Baby Hey .mp3
Greg Brown - The Poet Game .mp3
Greg Brown - Late Night Radio .mp3 via acousticinparis.blogspot.com

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9 Comments:

Anonymous Quiet Man said...

I was there, sitting just in front of the scene, for these 2 unforgettable evenings. I would have been there for the third...

9:57 AM  
Blogger Acoustic in pAris said...

Bookerfatz2, Greg's previous show in Paris took place just 10 years ago at the New Morning on April 20, 1998. Kelly Joe Phelps was opening.

Glad you guys enjoyed the shows.

Herve

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