I've just been to the local bowling club to see one of the best concerts I've seen in my life. In a bloody bowling club! There were only about 40 people there, locals who come to events once a month. I heard about this group a month or so ago and was a bit lukewarm about going but then I heard them being interviewed and playing on Jesse Mulligan's afternoon programme on National Radio. They are the Danberrys being husband and wife Dan and Dorothy from Tennessee and Vanessa, the double bass player who is local.
See here (hopefully) their Facebook link that has some samplings of their music.
I was well pleased to have gone. The setting was intimate and set up with table seating as you'd expect in a bowling club setting. I arrived 15 minutes early, paid my $20 and had a choice of seating. I chose a table up front close to where the band would play, not on a stage, but in the corner. They were a friendly bunch and I chatted to them before they started to play. Nice people. They played two one hour sets with a half hour intermission. Of all the songs they played only two were not originals - a gospel number that Robert would approve of - something about a Holy Ghost Building and they closed as encore with a John Prine number. Their songs were great. Well written, good solid country/bluegrass/rockabilly/blues fusion stuff - not boring, not pop - excellent. Dorothy has a stunning voice sort of a Parton/Raitt/ Lucinda Williams cross. Lots of range and power. She played guitar occasionally and did percussion stuff. Dan played guitar and sang. He was an excellent guitarist (apparently previously a bass player) and was pleased as punch with his new guitar that he'd waited a year to be made for him. Something fancy with Austrian spruce and shit. Whatever, but the sound was great.
The Old Girl is in Auckland this weekend for a work project so missed out. She would have loved this.
Hopefully we will go to future music evenings at the club but I doubt that we will see quality like this in a small rural setting again. It reminded me of years ago when I saw and listened to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards jamming in a small bar at a late night unofficial 'concert' with a tiny audience. Magic.
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