Some nights, the soul requires live music enjoyed from a comfortable sofa, with nobody spilling beer on your shoes and no expectations to buy the $30 seafood platter.
Seeing Goodnight Blue Moon open for Richie and Rosie was my immediate motivation for being at mActivity Center’s East Rock Concert Series for the second week in a row. It has the feel of a Sunday-night tradition-in-the-making, though, as by the end of the weekend, I often still want to be “out” and hearing live music, but I’m winding down on energy for the bar scene and have to start thinking about Monday’s work schedule. A $15-$20 ticket buys access to great folk/Americana acts, another $5 gets a glass of wine, and the excitement wraps up around nine o’clock unless you want to adjourn to the brewpub next door.
Goodnight Blue Moon
When the sound is big-band folk, going with a four-piece counts as a stripped-down minimalist show. The mood was more melancholy than usual, with the wail of lap steel lending an aura of hiraeth.
Ordinarily, I’m captivated by the complex sonic layering of the GNBM sound, but it was also fascinating to hear a set-up where each individual instrument has more prominence. You get a different sense of the bones of some songs, plus new opportunities for impressive solos, as in this version of “Darlin’.”
You also get different covers, like this St. Patrick’s Day tribute of “The Wild Rover.” At about the halfway point of the set, I’d gone full-on fan and was capturing as much as possible just to hear the songs in different forms, so I’ve also got “Waiting for My Ride” and “Captain’s Church.”
Richie and Rosie
She’s a classically trained musician. He’s been immersed in folk music since he was knee-high to a grasshopper. Together they
fight crime write and perform music with folk roots and classical musicianship.
I should start you off with something typical… aw hell nah, you need to hear the song that’s “musician’s musician” material because you will not believe what a banjo can do. This one, “The Last Train to Rajasthan,” was inspired by Richie Stearns’ hosting of a band from India called Musafir, which performs Rajasthani roots-rock.
This coming week’s East Rock Concert Series show features folk-pop duo The Sea The Sea (full schedule and advance tickets). Share this post with friends who’d enjoy seeing the best in regional roots music in a quiet, friendly environment!