For me, last night's show at McCabe's was a blind date of sorts, as I went there to see a musician whose career had eluded me for decades. I showed up totally unprepared, without being able to name a single song from Dirk Hamilton's repertoire, but in the end I did not regret my decision to attend.
So what made me want to see someone whose music I did not know? Well, there were two reasons. First, a couple of folks voted Dirk Hamilton as the best McCabe’s concert in 2013 and those few votes did resonate with me. Then there's the Italian thing: I'm a connoisseur and collector of Italian music and the fact that Dirk is bigger in Italy than anywhere else has definitely made an impression on me. Long story short, I bought myself a ticket and went to the show not really knowing what to expect.
My first reaction after the show was "he's the complete package", by which I meant to praise his songwriting, singing, guitar-playing and personality. Dirk played two sets last night, I caught the first one, seventy minutes in all.
The concert coincided with the re-release of his 1996 album titled "Sufferupachuckle", so not surprisingly, he treated us with some of the album's best numbers, among them "Heroes Maybe", "Luck", "Dangerous" and "Black Dog Blues". I liked them all. One may say that "good songs" was the theme of the evening, as there weren't any weak numbers in Dirk's entire set, with the unreleased "Head On A Neck" being the best of the lot. Other stand-out songs: the set-opening "Lady", "Follow Your Bliss" and "Grow A Rose", which Dirk performed with vocal and instrumental support from Waldo Bliss, the evening's opening act.
|Dirk Hamilton at McCabe's|
|Dirk Hamilton and Waldo Bliss at McCabe's|
|Dirk Hamilton's set list|
Dan Carlson (vocals, acoustic guitar)
Mindy Jones (vocals)
Daniel Ahearn (vocals)
Randy Ray Mitchell (electric guitar)
Erik Eldenius (drums, percussion)
Brett Simons (bass)
|Waldo Bliss at McCabe's|
|Waldo Bliss' set list|
|Dirk Hamilton reporting to work|
|Dirk Hamilton merchandise|