Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Jackie Greene @ Higher Ground, Thursday, 10.07.10

     I swear that some sort of higher power was keeping me from this show.  Since his opening gig for Gov't Mule this past August I had been jonzin' for more of his brand of Americana with a side of Dead.  Jackie Greene and his band were slated to start a bit early - which I was made aware of far too late.  Perhaps I could have looked at my ticket?  Nah. 
Upon trying to leave my home I realized that being timely wasn't really wasn't in the cards.  I was literally trapped in my own driveway by two firetrucks, a tow truck and two police cruisers.  Commence meltdown.  After waiting in my own driveway for 20mins whilst the Colchester Fire and Police Departments worked to flip a late 90s Honda Accord from its roof to its wheels and aide the shaken driver I could finally head toward HG.   I had ultimately missed the first set by this point.  Glad the driver is ok and his car missed the fence of our condo association. 
     I arrived during the first song of the second set.  Apparently, and much to my chagrin, Jackie had done numerous acoustic numbers to begin the night, even a couple solo.  Well, truth be told, you can't win them all.  I was very pleased to see and hear him switch from guitar to organ for a few songs.  Jackie is an incredible talent, especially on piano or Hammond B-3 organ.  Those tunes shine, often conjuring up some 'Stage Fright'-era tracks from The Band. 
     The first time I saw him perform was in Phil Lesh & Friends in the fall of 2007.  He completely won me over with his interpretations of classic Grateful Dead songs.  The performances never seemed like covers of songs but more of a retelling or a reinterpretation of an old familiar story.  He is wise beyond his years and is single handedly carrying the torch of the Dead into new territory.  At those 2007 Phil & Friends shows he would tear down the house while leading a band of veterans through 'New Speedway Boogie' and 'Sugaree'.  In fact, I don't think I have ever seen him perform without one or both of these tunes in his sets.  Jackie's show at HG was no exception.  The band barrelled through a monster verson of 'New Speedway Boogie' that stretched past ten minutes.  I can barely remember what the Grateful Dead version sounds like as the song belongs to Jackie Greene now.  The second set ended with a soulful version of 'Sugaree'.  Again, he just owns this song.  Its always nice to have a group of 500 or so singing along.  Their well deserved encore was their most well known tune 'Ball and Chain'.  This song has enough rock & roll and blues swagger to supply 10 albums worth of mojo.  Jackie and band again brought down the house in style. 
     After the show I was milling around the stage and saw him pop out to greet some fans.  I took the opportunity after the urging from a friend to introduce myself and thank him profusely for playing HG.  The conversation was short and I probably should have talked about the NLDS which had his hometown San Francisco Giants' ace pitcher Lincecum on the mound (who would go on to strike out 13 that night).  Atleast I got to meet the dude who makes me look huge.  He does however, have incredible taste in hats.  [Photo Credit - Artie Lavigne]  'Til next time.

1 comment:

  1. That was a fun one! Very repectful crowd - really there to listen to the music.