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Bill 06-15-2013 05:34 PM

Roanoke Tonight
Headed to the show soon...about an hour away. Sucks that Tommy Emannuel is in town the same night...

Copied from Roanoke Times:
(moderator has added the link) http://www.roanoke.com/living/music/...ght-music.html

Choices are everywhere on the Roanoke music scene. Saturday night presents two stellar ones.

Gordon Lightfoot, who this year celebrates 50 years in the music business by touring with his longtime backing band, brings a cache of hits — including “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” “Sundown,” “Early Morning Rain” and “If You Could Read My Mind” — to Roanoke Performing Arts Theatre.

Guitarist Tommy Emmanuel, a Chet Atkins protege who long ago established his own voice to go along with fiery picking, headlines Jefferson Center’s annual tribute to the late guitarist Brad “Buster B.” Jones, a onetime Bedford County resident admired by guitarists around the world for his prowess.

We talked to Lightfoot and Emmanuel about their upcoming shows.

Gordon Lightfoot

The story of Lightfoot’s first hit album is a music business classic.

By 1970, Lightfoot, from the Toronto, Canada, region, had a hit single in the United States with “If You Could Read My Mind.” But the album “Sit Down Young Stranger” was not selling well on the Warner/Reprise label. The label decided to change the album’s name to “If You Could Read My Mind.” Lightfoot remembers being livid, thinking that the label was “selling out.”

So he flew from Toronto to Los Angeles in a “huff and a puff” to fight it out with label head Mo Ostin, he remembered. Ostin sent Lightfoot to the label’s merchandising chief, Stan Cornyn.

“He asked me: ‘Did you take algebra?’ I told him I had,” Lightfoot said in a June 4 telephone call. “He said, ‘Changing the title of the album is the difference between X and 7X.’

“You know what I did? I turned around and got on the airplane, flew back to Toronto and let them change the title of the album.”

The formula was spot-on. The retitled disc became a hit and fully established Lightfoot’s career.

These days, though, he has turned his focus away from writing music. His last album of original music, “Harmony,” came out in 2004. In the ensuing years, all of his “record label obligations” have ended, he said.

Lightfoot is simply focused on bringing the best possible live versions of the songs he has made famous — plus songs such as “Race Among The Ruins,” “Drink, Your Glass Is Empty,” “I’d Rather Press On” and “Sweet Guinevere” — numbers that Lightfoot had never performed live. They’re great songs that he could never fit into a live set until now, he said.

“We’re perfecting the live show,” he said. “I was always into performing live, all through the whole thing. And now I got a chance to really zero in and hone in on it, and we’re getting some really good results. I’m getting the kind of response that I love to see, too, out of the crowd, because it’s getting better.”

Tommy Emmanuel

Emmanuel and Jones have a common denominator — Chet Atkins. Both Emmanuel, an Australian, and Jones, who lived in Bedford County from about 1985 to 2001, were influenced by and became friends with Atkins.

In a Tuesday phone conversation, Emmanuel remembered Jones, who died at 49 in February 2009, in Junction City, Ore.

Jones’ skills inspired such international nicknames as “Le Machine Gun” and “Pistola” — but he was not strictly about speed and flash, Emmanuel said.

“In actual fact, Buster was a real sweet player and a good songwriter, as well,” he said. “It’s a side of his playing that I saw a lot and that I loved and appreciated. … He was a real people-pleaser, and the audiences just loved him.”

They first met at an edition of the Chet Atkins/Marcel Dadi Guitar Festival in France. Jones was there with picking partner Thom Bresh.

“Wow, when I heard him play, I was really knocked out,” Emmanuel said. “His abilities were far beyond those of mortal men.”

The two got to know each other better at the Chet Atkins conventions in Nashville, Tenn. Emmanuel remembered Jones in the late 1990s and early 2000s setting up his gear in the Sheraton Hotel bar, near the airport.

“And he would stay there all day, and people would just come along, and he’d invite them to jam,” Emmanuel said. “And it was just great to see him holding court there, you know. People would ask him questions, and he would teach people. He was just a real giver, you know.”

It’s fitting, then, that all proceeds from Emmanuel’s pre-show soundcheck workshop at Jefferson Center’s Shaftman Hall will go to the Music Lab at Jefferson Center, an after-school incubator for young performers.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

charlene 06-15-2013 05:43 PM

Re: Roanoke Tonight
Have a great time Bill!!

KHester 06-15-2013 06:13 PM

Re: Roanoke Tonight
There is going to be some great guitar playing tonight in Roanoke.

Bill 06-15-2013 06:15 PM

Re: Roanoke Tonight
Thanks. I'm lousy at set lists but will try to note any new or different things. Maybe an iPhone pic. Would love to take my DSLR but this venue prohibits pro lenses. And I don't want to be the jerk in the third row who got tossed for pissing Gord off! Just gonna enjoy.

charlene 06-15-2013 06:43 PM

Re: Roanoke Tonight
Rick has posted a couple of pre-show pictures - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rick-...ocation=stream

Dave, Melbourne,Australia 06-15-2013 06:50 PM

Re: Roanoke Tonight

Originally Posted by Bill (Post 182083)
Sucks that Tommy Emannuel is in town the same night...

Tommy Emmanuel is one of Australia's best-known guitarists. He is 58 and has been a professional musician since the age of 6! He has performed with Chet Atkins, Eric Clapton, Tina Turner and many others.

ellen 06-15-2013 07:53 PM

Re: Roanoke Tonight
Hi Bill! I'm in B6

charlene 06-15-2013 11:17 PM

Re: Roanoke Tonight
ok - show's been over for an hour now... hello???? ;)

Bill 06-15-2013 11:33 PM

Re: Roanoke Tonight
Hour drive home! It was nice to meet Ellen at intermission!

Great show. Ellen has a set list. Triangle, then Watchman, then Don Quixote started the show.

I think maybe they tuned the instruments down a half or whole step because his lower register was much more present - far less vocal strain, almost none.

Guitars jangled well and Carter is amazing...rattling off what sounds like flat pick run playing in a classical finger style.

The show seemed very intimate, almost like a club show. Maybe it was the strong lower tones, maybe it was the hint of confident swagger Gord had. Let's face it - over the years he's been kinda shy and geeky on stage. Tonight he had swag.

Funny yet frustrating moment...drunk guy wanders to front of stage a few feet from Gord and is dancing to The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald! Band played on unphased, and usher escorted drunk out.

Camera police in full force...and with good reason: turn your iPhone camera flashes off people!

He added the song Now and Then into the mix, as well as Rather Press On.

Cool to see Rick's Facebook posts!

Tried to post from the show but couldn't log in on my phone...forgot password and it locked me out.

Late now. May post more impressions tomorrow.

Bill 06-15-2013 11:37 PM

Re: Roanoke Tonight
1 Attachment(s)
A poor cell phone pic.

ellen 06-16-2013 02:04 AM

Re: Roanoke Tonight
I just got in - it was a far piece - a bit over 2 hours - down the mountain. Great concert, best in a long time. Ditto everything Bill said. The five weeks off paid off in Mr. Lightfoot's voice sounding the best it has in a long time, and he didn't have to clear his head as often as in times past. As he walked out and saw the very good crowd, there was an almost imperceptible note of satisfaction on his face. He wasn't quite as chatty this time as the past few times I've seen him, but he seemed much more at ease and relaxed.

Oh! It was lovely to meet Bill at intermission! :cool:


Don Quixote
I'd Rather Press On
Wild Strawberries
Let It Ride
Christian Island
Rainy Day People
Carefree Highway
Cotton Jenny
Now & Then
Ribbon of Darkness


Drink Yer Glasses Empty (with Mike only)
Sweet Guinevere (the band rejoins)
Wreck Of the Edmund Fitzgerald
Never Too Close
All the Lovely Ladies
Clouds of Loneliness
Waiting for You
Painter Passing Through
If You Could Read My Mind
Baby Step Back
Early Morning Rain
Song for A Winter's Night

Encore - Blackberry Wine

The band was SO good. I took some notes of some nice spells, but there were just so many, so I quit. Suffice it to say they were as well-rehearsed & prepared as usual. The crowd was warm and appreciative. Not too many shouters, but the guy next to me sang. A lot. Sigh.

They totally tore up Baby Step Back. Gordon did it a bit differently and it suited. Hearing Now & Then made me tear up a bit, but tears turned to laughter at Ribbon of Darkness as Lightfoot waited and waited for the "over Me". There was lengthy discussion of the lyrics changes in Wreck.

I had a great seat. Perfect view of the band interaction. Also of the dancing drunk Fozzie Bear dude waltzing to the Wreck, alone & with the usher - seriously the most bizarre moment I've seen at a GL concert since the herbal interactions of the 70s. I can't believe I've been attending GL concerts for 41 years. There was not another place on earth I wanted to be for those two hours. And I go to Asheville tomorrow :)

New 12 String Mike 06-16-2013 04:05 PM

Re: Roanoke Tonight
Glad everybody had a good time in my old home town!

Couldn't get back there for this show.

My high school graduation was held in that theater way back in '72. Been to a few shows there and shot lots of photos. I've stood on the stage a time or two while doing a little stage hand work and did some dreaming of my own.

Bill, you think he's tuning down a fret or so?

Enjoyed the posts.

Bill 06-16-2013 05:15 PM

Re: Roanoke Tonight
Yes, it is a pretty nice venue. Saw John Prine ther, and Gordon twice. I used to work the video crew for Miss Virginia Pageant, so saw it behind the scenes too.

I could be totally off base, but as a guitar player, I had a sense everything was down a half or whole step. Others do that - Leo Kottke tunes down as low as B in regular tuning configuration.

It just seemed Gord's voice was in more of a comfort zone and it worked really well. I felt bad when I saw him in the past out of breath and vocal cords collapsing like weak reeds. Last night was strong.

He does his own thing in his own way, but if he followed the path that folks like Kristofferson, Cash, Neil Diamond, and Loretta Lynn have, he could turn out an honest earnest new album as a stripped down artist. But I know he won't.

I really appreciated the band last night. Mike laying down a pad, Rick like an emotional anchor, Barry hardly had much to do. carter shined on acoustic, and was understated on guitar. Sensed he could have cut loose but was restrained from doing so.

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