Wow, long time to make a post on the Jeeping with dogs. Been busy. Not enough Jeeping, some stuff around the house. Managed to see Beth Hart in concert at Live Wire. That was surprising. Why? The opening act. Blaine Long.
So here is the Face Book Post on Blaine Long Music.
I was introduced to Blaine’s music at a Beth Hart show. If you have never been to a blues show, well, it is a step lower in pretense than say a Jazz Festival, but, just a step. It can be a tough room. You pretty well not gonna bullshit that crowd. Most everyone there seems to be a critic. Me? I try to avoid that. First off, the only way I can carry a tune is in an IPod. B, C, D? Sure; if we are speaking of cup size, I like em all. Notes? Not your guy. Flat / sharp, timing / tempo? Uh huh; whatever.
Now that complete lack of musical knowledge is very liberating. I don’t get too wrapped up in what folks say I should like, or what sells well. I listen to what I do like. Bluegrass to Rap and every step in between, if it is good to me, and brings me pleasure, I enjoy it.
Back to the show. House is about 1,000 seats or so. Doors open, about an hour later, just when you think things should get going, guy comes out, fiddles with mic, tunes a guitar, and folks get the idea show is about to start. I figure he is a roadie. No shame in that, just you know, waiting on a show. MC comes out and dang if he don’t introduce the roadie. WTF? Just a wild guess here, ninety percent plus of us have no idea who this guy is. Two songs in, he had us all hooked. So picture that. One guy, one acoustic guitar, original material, two songs and he has the room of a 1,000 plus? That is a tough, tough show to pull. No doubt his humor and easy style helped.
At the end of the show Blaine Long gets a standing ovation. Well deserved. Again, a tough, no bullshit, room and they give it up. WOW! That’s impressive. Let that simmer for a minute.
Ninety percent plus don’t know him, original material, acoustic guitar set with no backing, discerning audience and he pulls a standing ovation at the end of the set? That is talent. I don’t care what genre you are into; that is talent. I figure next time I see him at that venue, he will be headlining and selling it out.
I thought about that for a week. A hand full of country singers that may be able to pull that. Some of the ladies from Lilith. Some “names” that come to mind include Dwight Yoakam, Jewel, Lisa Loeb maybe Darius Rucker? No doubt others, but all in all a pretty short list of performers that can pull a solo acoustic guitar set of original. Even then they are likely doing “covers” of their full session songs? Piano? Dozen more or so, as that opens it up to more R/B folks. To me, one person, one instrument, and a song is music in its purist form.
The day after the show I downloaded a couple dozen songs. My day gig might as well be a “road warrior.” Me, my iPod and endless miles of open highway. Some songs I could recall from the show, enjoyed a second, third and fourth time around. Some were new to me. Enjoyed those as well.
It is clear Blaine Long has an honesty about his music. Not some fantasy, not some glimpse into a world that is unknown to me. No statements, no pretense and no crap. Just life. Songs about the human experience, our shared struggle, and our common bonds. Songs that everybody can relate to. A dude with a guitar and a song. Purity. Honesty.
I know he has some exciting times coming his way. Exposure to new fans and new opportunities. I am pretty comfortable after spending a few hundred miles with his music, even if those new opportunities exceed his wildest dreams, his music is still going to be honest and talk to life. A rare treat. It will bring you pleasure; enjoy.
Blaine Long is on The Voice. This will be fun to watch. Very excited for him and wish him all the best.
Here is a video: