March 25, 2018

Concert #822 - Dave Alvin, Syd Straw & Peter Case at McCabe's Guitar Shop (March 24, 2018)

This was the second in a series of special shows celebrating the 60th anniversary of McCabe's, with a portion of the proceeds going to Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation. Featuring three of my favorite singer-songwriters - Dave Alvin, Syd Straw and Peter Case - the show did not disappoint.

Seated side-by-side, Dave, Syd and Peter delivered a round-robin set that included lots of storytelling  and yes, also an occasional song, here and there. Normally I would complain about shows where the spoken word outweighs the music, but last night the spoken word turned out to be hilariously funny, the music was great, as expected, so I went home totally happy.

The proceedings were kicked-off by Peter Case with an outstanding rendition of his "Try Me One More Time", followed in order by Syd, Dave, then Peter again and so on. Needless to say, this was an extremely casual affair, with no scripted lines and no set lists - at times it felt like I was in a living room and having a good time with a bunch of musician friends.

To these ears, the evening's best moments were Syd Straw's epic delivery of "Love And The Lack Of It", Dave's low-key "Downey Girl" and Peter's "Somebody Told The Truth". Another highlight was George Jones' "What Am I Worth", performed with intensity by Dave and Syd at the end of their set. And speaking of covers: their extended encore included a thoroughly funny interpretation of Chip Taylor's "Wild Thing" and also a sing-along, Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land". For the latter, our main protagonists were joined on stage by the exuberant Cindy Wasserman and Frank Drennen, collectively known as the Dead Rock West, and also by Cindy Lee Berryhill.

I can't wait for the third special anniversary show!

Dave Alvin, Syd Straw & Peter Case at McCabe's
Dave Alvin & Syd Straw at McCabe's
Peter Case at McCabe's
Syd Straw at McCabe's
Dave Alvin at McCabe's
The Grand Finale: This Land Is Your Land
Dave Alvin & Dead Rock West at McCabe's
The stage
Sign in the window at McCabe's

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