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Saw some good acoustic acts tonight

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Mike Keane



Drops of Blue (Chicago)



John Statz (Oshkosh, WI)



All great acts. John and Mike had some really moving tunes that got me teary eyed.


The place was rather small, at the Valley Fair Mall here in Appleton, and I didn't really meet anyone other than the performers, real small crowd. Gave them my card(s) and networked. I met "Drops of Blue" on MySpace.com actually.


John really ripped up his acoustic, he had some wild, hard playing! He did break a couple strings, and he'd do some kinda chord/finger tapping, it was cool. I thought that guitar was gonna shatter.

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I'm listening to the live recording of Mike Keane's "Seams of the City" right now.


I think I played in front of that crowd. :D It's amazing that Mike seems to be playing his heart out without making a dent in the background chatter. But it sounded like he got the front of the house, anyhow, that nice little burst of applause that makes the sea of blank faces and idle chatter disappear for a second or two.


Us reconstructed folkies, of course, are used to it. But every now and then I hear a live recording of some amazing jazz, people blowing their brains out, really laying down genius, trading smoking runs, interlocking, doing all the stuff we go to see great players for. And then the song, accompanied by audible crowd chatter throughout often enough, ends and you're wiping the sweat off your brow just listening, and about 8 people in the audience engage in a little of that limp wristed clapping more properly reserved for your opponent at the city council debate.


It brings to mind something Bruce Swedien said in another thread around here earlier today which began, First, make music you want to hear...



Anyhow, nice stuff from Mike. ;)

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Ok. I finally checked them out. I thought the mp3s sounded king of interesting. I bet they're a lot better live. I've noticed that acts that really blow me away live tend to have recordings that don't do their live show justice.


I noticed on Mike Keane's site that he alows anyone to tape or video record his performances.


That would be cool to take advantage of.


I noticed John Statz will be playing in Dubuque, Iowa. I wonder if any of these guys will play down in Des Moines sometime. Keep me posted.

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I agree with the stuff theblue1 said. There's a coffee shop in Des Moines that has lots of live music and there's almost never a cover charge. A lot of the people in the audience don't pay much attention to the act.


But next door there's a music venue that almost always charges at least a $5 cover charge and it's a world of a difference. Almost everyone in the audience is totaly focused on listening to the musician(s). It's amazing what a difference having to pay a measly $5 can make.


I think the live recordings from Mike were the best. I really liked the Toto cover. At one point in a break from the singing Mike says "nobody's listening anyway" then someone in the audience shouts "I AM!"

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I listened to the first Mike Keane song. He's got a good voice, nice guitar work. Good song...


Except... (and this is just my opinion)...


That was quite what I was talking about with "The acoustic songs that never end" (or, re-writing "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald")... I realized that I'd been listening to him go on and on for quite some time...and the little bar on my mp3 player still had a ways to go. If I were to give Mike (and other acoustic artists) some constructive criticism (and, again, my point of view only)...make the song have a point. Get quickly to that point, say what you have to say in about three minutes...write a good hook, and get out and on to the next song.


Like I said, he's got a good voice, he plays well. The song is good. In my opinion, it just needs to be a trifle shorter. Maybe it's just my ADD showing.


And, if you're reading this, Mike, don't worry, I'd have told Gordon Lightfoot the same thing. :D:D:D

"Cisco Kid, was a friend of mine"
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Oh yeah...as for the crowd chatter...if it makes anyone feel better...I heard David Crosby and Graham Nash do the beautiful, haunting "Guinnevere" live. People didn't shut up for them, either.
"Cisco Kid, was a friend of mine"
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