June 24, 2012

Concert #642 - Jackshit at McCabe's Guitar Shop (June 23, 2012)

Those folks who are wondering why I'm always there when Jackshit plays Santa Monica should have been in the audience last night at McCabe's. For me, the fun started with the spotting of Leonard Cohen, who walked in just before show time and quickly disappeared upstairs. I wasn't expecting him to guest on the show - and he didn't - but just being under the same roof with the artist who has been delighting me for decades gave me an unforgettable thrill.

Then there's always the question about unannounced guests - will there be any? And yes, last night there were a few. Once again, Jackson Browne popped in as "Browne Shit" and delivered an outstanding four-song set that opened with Ween's "Pretty Girl", followed by Jackson's own "Here Comes Those Tears Again" and "Running On Empty" and culminated with the playing of Leonard Cohen's gorgeous "A Thousand Kisses Deep", with additional support from Spanish guitarist Javier Mas and Moldavian violinist Alex Bublitchi, both from Leonard Cohen's band.

Jackson Browne (center), with Val McCallum (left) and Pete Thomas
In perfect alignment with Jackshit's western wear dress code, Jackson Browne came out with a cowboy hat that he didn't really want to wear and, after struggling to find an adequate storage space on the crowded stage, he simply passed it on to me, as I was sitting in the front row, literally at his feet. I don't like having large objects on my lap while watching a show, but I can always make an exception for the headwear belonging to inductees of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame!

Jackson got his hat back when he rejoined the band to sing "Take It Easy", a song he wrote for the Eagles in the early seventies. It was a fitting end to an incredible night of music that saw the Boys from Cochtotin in great vocal and instrumental form and I'm theorizing that Leonard Cohen's mere presence in the house must have given the band an extra-incentive to go the extra-mile. Val McCallum's guitar playing was as strong as ever. His treatment of "Pretty Polly" was something to behold, but then again, I could say that about anything else Val does. Pete's rapturous drumming on Johnny Horton's "I'm Coming Home" and Davey's bass intro to Pat MacDonald's "Drinkin' Or Drivin" were superb and so were Davey's falsetto sounds on "Ring Of Fire".

Last night also marked the welcome and long-overdue return of "Ugly And Slouchy" and its delightful rock & roll medley, which consisted of some classic Blood, Sweat & Tears, Sugarloaf and Doobie Brothers material. The always-fun Shit Horns also made an appearance, this time as a trio, to help the band with the playing of "Ring Of Fire" and "The Lonely Bull".

Two of the three Shit Horns, with Alex Bublitchi (left) and Davey Faragher (right)
Two new songs made their way into the set list: "If I Could Only Win Your Love", an old Louvin Brothers tune, and "Where Does The Good Times Go" from Buck Owens' repertoire.

One of the two set lists left behind on the stage
The other set list
With their unmatched musical skills, power and humor, Jackshit remains one of the best acts one can catch in LA or anywhere else, as a matter of fact. Be there the next time they are anywhere near you.

Jackson Browne leaving the stage
Javier Mas (left) and Davey Faragher exiting the stage
"Pretty Girl" lyrics sheet on Davey Faragher's music stand
Two of Val McCallum's guitar picks


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