Date: Wed, 02 Jun 1999 21:28:26 -0700
Subject: Memorial Day Weekend Show
Third Coast Hixters alert! If Dan’s show at Sweetwater on Sunday night was any indication, you’re in for a real treat – some new tunes, and some pretty doggone good older ones, too.
We went up to Mill Valley on Saturday to share in the Memorial Day Weekend festivities. After lunch at the Buckeye Roadhouse (bonus celebrity sighting: Robin Williams and family), it was on to MV to settle in and get more info about the weekend happenings, including the parade and concert in the park on Monday.
Dan’s show on Sunday was our first visit back to Sweetwater since its reopening in March. Most seemed pretty much unchanged, but they have evidently put in some insulation, because it got downright hot and stuffy. (Of course, come December and Christmas Jug Band, we might change our tune on this.) The place was already SRO when local trad blues songstress Lisa Kindred took the stage at 9PM. After a half-hour of some down-home music, Dan and the Warriors took over for one of the longest (9:45 or so till 1AM) and most fun shows ever.
The Warriors (Paul Robinson, Brian Godchaux and Richard Saunders) were augmented for part of the show by the Groovettes, who were Susan Rabin on vocals and percussion, and Annabelle Cruz on vocals and violin. We last saw Susan when she sat in at Enrico’s with Bayside Jazz and sang "Don’t Blame Me". The femme vocal background stylings were quite nice. (Note to Austin Hixsters – according to Paul, who we visited with briefly before the show, Ethyl & Methyl, otherwise known as Maryann Price and Asleep At The Wheel’s Chris O’Connell, may be appearing with Dan & Co. at Cactus Café.)
After Dan’s opening patter over "Sunny Side Of The Street", the band launched into "Boogaloo Jones", which cooked nicely. The rest of the first set consisted of, in no particular order:
*Up! Up! Up!
*I Got Mine
*Where’s The Money?
*He Don’t Care - which gets a great audience response.
*I Scare Myself
*I Don’t Want Love (the food and love song – kind of similar to "The Frim-Fram Sauce" by Nat King Cole, another tune I would love to hear Dan cover)
*Strike It While It’s Hot
*Payday Blues - a particular treat, since Dan seems to like to sing this while in Texas, and we remember it from quite a few shows…
*Long Comma Viper
In mid-set, Dan looked out at the room, did kind of a double-take and said "For a minute there, I thought I was with Christmas Jug Band! What’s up with THAT?" In fact, several comments were made about Dan not having appeared as a solo act at Sweetwater in several years. Dan said "It’s Jeannie’s fault!" (Jeannie being the previous owner of Sweetwater, till this year). "She took all our money."
When the band came on for the second set, Dan conveniently read the set list. However, we were chatting with someone at the moment, so we must again report it in no particular order:
*Crazy (‘Cause He Is)
*That’s Just The Smoke They’re Blowing, which was much enhanced by the Groovettes’ backing vocals…
*Meet Me On The Corner, a new song
*The song about the cello, first heard by us at Kuumbwa last month. I think the title is Why Won’t My Cello Play For You. Wonderful lyrics.
*Hell, I’d Go!, with some of the new lyrics we heard last month
*Capo On My Brain
*It’s Not My Time To Go
*The Buzzard Was Their Friend
*Give Me The Simple Life (encore)
The band was especially swinging during the last set. Dan really got down on vocals, with great scatting and riffing. Some rockabilly and Dylan stylings, too. He remarked that he’d only said "F***" on stage twice that night, but that was "probably enough." He explained. "It’s just a cheap thrill for me… I never get to say it anywhere else." He did, however, to the delight of some, slip in a bonus one later.
Dan made mention of a new CD, but not the long-awaited Surfdog release. Instead, it sounds to us like the "lost" Epic tapes could be resurfacing, since Dan said it was some older stuff that would be released later this year on Columbia/Sony.
What a great show. We finally got in after 1AM, which is really late for us.
On Monday, we went to the 20th Annual Mill Valley Memorial Day Parade, which was delightful – lots of very cute kids, dogs, vintage cars, and floats. The parade program made mention of the "Fashion Police", but little did we know that they would be seriously patrolling! Sadly, Ken got a citation for wearing his Red Dog Saloon t-shirt. The offense? "Expired Wardrobe".
After the parade, we toured the interesting 93-year-old MV Masonic Lodge building, then walked down to Bayfront Park to hear music by Christmas Jug Band veteran Austin DeLone and his band. They sounded great, and the scenery was lovely – sunny, with wisps of fog floating across the mountaintops. The kids were dancing, cutting up, and getting in "major trouble". It’s really fun to watch little kids shake their booties to the blues.
Next stop: Russian River Blues Festival at month-end, featuring Dan and the "Delta Devils". Undoubtedly Dan has worked up an entirely new blues repertoire for the occasion. Maybe Shorty will sing "Crossroads"?.
Kathy & Ken