Saturday, May 2, 2009

Balloon Man (Richard Shindell)

I posted the following last night to Richard Shindell's discussion list:

I recently returned from the Richard Shindell backyard house concert in Sunrise, Florida - oh... my... god...

It's been altogether too long since he's been in this neck of the woods... and we're hoping to get him back on a more regular basis - he joked early in the evening that he had avoided our part of the state for a while... because of the heat (he self-admittedly sweats a lot)... and trepidation about alligators. Fortunately the weather cooperated with a lovely breeze... and we assured him that, since this particular house wasn't on a canal, not too much danger of the latter - even the minimal traffic sounds joined in... in Richard's words, "in thirds, fifths and unisons"...

Richard was in grand form, with excellent musicianship, warm vocals and such a great sense of humor and smile which flashed early and often - he talked about his parents loving the few songs of his that sounded "perky", realizing that the content of most of his repertoire was "deeply troubled"... and worried that they were somehow to blame... :-)

He spoke of feeling right at home in his hotel room in Coral Gables (about an hour south of the show), which had an Argentine deli directly across the street - he also told a wildly descriptive story of Balloon Man colliding with a dog walker (14 golden retrievers!)... and then said he just made that up...

More great chatter, none of which I can remember right now - I'm still floating (balloon woman?... :-)

Below is the setlist, in no particular order except for the first song and encores:

Beyond the Iron Gate
Acadian Driftwood
Sitting on Top of the World
another cover, which I've gone completely blank (none of the ones from South of Delia)...
Last Fare of the Day
Get Up Clara
The Island
Balloon Man
Sparrows Point
Hazel's House
The Kenworth of My Dreams
Reunion Hill
Are You Happy Now
There Goes Mavis

She Belongs to Me (Bob Dylan)

My friend (hosting the concert) asked if I'd sell Richard's merchandise at the break and at the end, which I was more than happy to do (since I of course have them all and could explain which songs were on what CDs) - Richard also gave me a step-by-step tutorial on the proper method of drinking yerba mate (with the gourd, straw and loose tea)... since I said I'd given up coffee a year ago, segueing to that beverage (although in the less powerful teabag form... :-)

Hope we don't have to wait another 7 years for a repeat performance - can't wait to hear reports from the remaining Florida shows!

P.S. SMM here, here, here, here and here...

BOOK: Millennium Folk: American Folk Music Since the Sixties by Thomas R. Gruning

POEM: Chansons Innocentes: I by e. e. cummings

in Just-
spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman

whistles far and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old balloonman whistles
far and wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and


balloonMan whistles

QUOTE: "My definition [of a philosopher] is of a man up in a balloon, with his family and friends holding the ropes which confine him to earth and trying to haul him down." ~ Louisa May Alcott

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