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Davy Lamp Folk Club
Washington, Tyne & Wear 1 April 2006
It's 8-45 sharp and Rod kicks off with new material: 'All Grown Up and Nowhere To Go' (from forthcoming album 'Odd Man Out' on Market Square) is nicely played on capo 2 in D followed by 'Touch Me Not', finely run around an Am shape hammered and dedicated to a rare flower of the same name. Swopping to the Dobro next with an exquisite robato style beat and pick he serves up 'Blue Interior' (from 'Stamping Ground') ahead of 'Train in E Major' with some lovely harmonics and a mellow delivery highlighted by a superb instrumental middle that just silences the venue.
Next up: two related NE Mining songs, 'Charity Main' and, dedicated to Hazel, 'The Roads of East Northumberland', a tremendous tearjerker of a song. 'New Best Friend' si another newie with the witty and politically appropriate lines evident in "and you jump each time he calls your name". Dobro again gives us "for the repression as we enter the new ages" new song 'Existentially Yours' , with verse 4 dedicated to a local Mackem celebrity, before Rod closes the first half with the old JTL track 'Why Cant I Be Satisfied'?!
The second half began again with 5 regulars, the standout contributions being A Friend of the Devil from lefthander Michael Woods, and John Wright on a Martin gave a fine performance for the three rivers of the NE on If Only A River.
He's back for the final hour of the second half, starting with 'Stamping Ground' itself, showing some interesting thumbed barre shapes on 5th and 7th frets to give a good deep sound. 'Odd Man Out' , in ¾ time next was then followed by a tribute to Bert Jansch’s 1965 first album in 'Ramblings Going To Be The Death Of Me'.
No introduction necessary for the contractually-obligatory 'Meet Me On The Corner' replete with mass audience singalong ahead of another monster 'Cant Do Right For Doing Wrong'. He moves quickly to 'Candlelight', similarly played without introduction and with a fine build up.
A new song about the accommodation of the builders of the Hoover Dam in the1930’s comes up next, full on sound here great, a very strong 'Ragtown' before anecdotes on the musicians at the hardware and grocery store give us 'The Old Blue Goose'.
We finish with a drinking song - 'Whiskey Highway' on capo 5, starting as an unaccompanied song, building up with an appreciative mass chorus.
We get, not one, but two encores: 'Freedom Square' with superb hammers and pulls on the B string , followed by the Lindisfarne classic 'Road To Kingdom Come', the introductory slide blues on this closing song was outstanding. It's been a great night out; fine guitar playing; deep lyrics.
Review by Mike Jessop