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Bob Meyer + Duke Garwood + David Atkinson
Leonard's, Clerkenwell 28.01.07
- upside down and way out wonderful
Time Out listed this gig as 'Superior avant-blues' and they
got it right...
Duke Garwood's sound comes from some strange
place that only Duke hisself knows about, and he's not telling, at least
not in a clearly intelligible way. But it's all the better for that.
It's dark and dense and doesn't really sound like anything you've heard
before. A couple of days previously I'd been speaking to some people
who knew Duke's great, abstract, 'Holy Week' CD and there was general
wonder at how he was going to do it live. It turns out Duke just sits
down, tunes his guitar ("It cost me $13") in
a weird way and off he goes. He can really play and has a deep, dark
voice that rumbles in from beyond, like he's speaking in tongues.
Bob Meyer also sounds quite unlike anything else, albeit in
a marginally less abstract way. Before taking to the stage he'd said
that once he started he went straight through, and sure enough we were
treated to a literally non stop 40 minute set, one song blending into
another and I'm still not sure how he did it. It's the songs from the
CD and very good, and very oblique, they are too, all the time set to
Bob's unique virtuosity on the left handed upside down guitar.
BiL regular David Atkinson just gets better and better. and rumour has
it that he'll be debuting some more original material soon, so keep an
eye out for his gigs.
These nights are starting go pretty well. We had a decent turn-out for
what was officially the most depressing week of the year and those that
came weren't disappointed. It provided proof, if it were needed, that
there's still plenty of creative mileage in 'blues' and as such was right
at the heart of what we're trying to do with bluesinlondon. It doesn't
exclude more familiar forms, and we're going back to our roots for the
next one with some classic Chicago/West Coast harp action to prove that
point, but hopefully nights like these will help to expand what can be
a quite narrow view of
what 'blues' can mean.