Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Patty Griffin concert review

Last night I saw Patty Griffin at the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto. I had never been there before. Back in the 70s, it was called The Roxy and was known for midnight screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. But it has been refurbished and it seems like a good alternative to Massey Hall, especially since Massey Hall will be refurbished soon. And they made room for my powerchair. The opening act was singer songwriter Max Gomez. He recently released his debut CD Rule The World on New West Records which is also Patty's label. Gomez is 23 years old from Taos, NM. He was OK. It's a tough slot for him. No one is there to see him and he is limited to 45 minutes. I could see him asking someone offstage how much time he has left. He likes to talk between songs. But if he talks too much he runs out of time. So he had to stop talking. I think I would like him a lot better in an intimate club setting where he can be more relaxed and he doesn't have to worry about time. But this gets him exposure to a larger audience that already likes similar music. It's economical but not the best way to showcase Gomez. Patty Griffin grew up in Maine and her new CD American Kid is a tribute to her father and her first CD of original songs in several years. Her dad is on the CD cover. Though Patty is a very powerful singer, she has had a lot of success as a songwriter. The Dixie Chicks in particular like her songs. This tour is to promote the new CD. Her band are veteran musicians. David Pulkingham is the long time guitarist for Tex-Mex rocker Alejandro Escovedo. Bassist Craig Ross produced Patty's new CD and has worked with her for several years. He worked with Lenny Kravitz in the 90s. Pianist John Deaderick has also worked with Patty for several years and with plenty of others. Believe it or not, all three guys take turns playing drums. The best thing about Patty Griffin is she expresses real emotion in her voice and her music is not overproduced. These days that's very refreshing and so I enjoyed the show a lot.

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