Friday, March 23, 2007

Suwannee Springfest 2007 Slab one

The big news at Swannee Springfest is that the Duhks will NOT appear with or without Jessica Duhk. They were refused at the US border because their management neglected to renew their visas. oy!!

Richie Stearns and Lydia Garrison (one of the Turtle Duhks) performed a living history old time set reminiscent of the Horseflies in their place. The Turtle Duhks CD is expected to be released in June or so regardless of visa or MasterCard restrictions.

...but musically, the biggest news so far (Friday night) is Ollabelle. These kids play and sing beautifully. Personally, i feel that they are the modern day equivalent of the Band. sort of the Dino, Desi and Billy of the 21st century. In fact their drummer, Tony Leone, sings very much like Levon helm which is really peculiar because Levon's daughter Amy is one of the lead singers in the band. Ollabelle really deserve to be heard live and I asked them about a live album which they say is in the works! I would love to hear their female leads sing some soul numbers like the Dixie Cups' "Chapel of Love" or maybe Aretha's "Respect".

Other terrific news from the band is that they will be performing at the 1AM David Gans and friends set. Gans has consistently provided great entertainment at Springfest and it's October counterpart MagnoliaFest (the site of the Duhks "Magnolia Set" with Bela Fleck") by arriving on the East coast from Oakland with just his guitar and his songs and bringing wonderful musicians together. In the past he's brought in Mark Van Allen the wonderful pedal steel player from Planet Riders and late of Blueground Undergrass, almost all of Railroad Earth, Darol Anger, Joe Craven, Annie Wenz, and the Glass Camels just to name a dozen. Gans promises that Ollabelle's ability to cover wide and deep musical items will be on show in the wee hours. I'll report on the in the AM.

As I write Donna the Buffalo is turning in a sort of standard DTB (no, not Derek Trucks Band) set after, by all reports, playing an "all songs we've never played before" request show wherein, they had to teach each other some of the songs on stage. this is pretty brave and, except for the inertia of having a long pause in between songs, was a sterling set for the most part. Tonight they sound like they always sound. ... and that isn't too shoddy.

My last note for today is that Gandalph Murphy & the Slambovian Circus of Dreams is terrific!! They taught us all to yodel and performed a cover of Dylan's Gates of Eden as well as a song "dedicated to those folk pioneers, the Who" all in the same show. Besides, they have a CD called "Flapjacks from the Sky".

Jorma Kaukonen & Barry Mitterhoff played an outstanding set that mixed tunes long associated with Jorma as well as songs from his new CD "Stars in My Crown".



Dan Ruby said...

Great first-night report, decatur. Looking forward to hearing more. As much touring as the Duhks do, it's amazing to hear they didn't have their travel documents together.

David Gans said...

Thank you for your kind words, Alan. I have posted two excerpts form my weekend performances: "Birds" w/ Ollabelle, and "Quarter to Five (For Tina Loney)" with Joe Craven: