NQC 10: 100th Anniversary of SG
I took no notebook and made sure MNP insisted I surrender the extra ink pen I keep in my pocket in case I tried to jot notes on my hand (h/t, Sarah Palin) and just sat and listened. Which is just as well. The event wasn’t about music as much as memories and reunions, a chance for old groups - or what’s left of the people connected to them - to take the stage for a few minutes and let fans collectively respond to those old names and songs.
For me personally, I might have preferred that the memory of some of the groups like the Speers and the Downings and their music to stay undespoiled by these rather pale re-creations of them from among the remnants and spare parts of long-ago configurations dismantled by age, infirmity, death and scandal. But the rather smallish crowd (at least it was smaller than I expected given all the hype that surrounded it) was enthusiastic, especially for Gold City and the Hinsons. And I can’t say I didn’t enjoy myself.
My own favorites were the Hinsons and the Rambos. The latter’s set stood out for being the most intentionally and carefully arranged … there was medley of songs with some interesting transitions instead of just truncated clips of old favorites that started and stopped. Dottie Rambo wrote such vivid and visceral songs, and well know this, but something about hearing them revivified with a full, live band seemed to reanimate this truth. At any rate, the first verse of “Remind Me Dear Lord” brought me up short:
The things that I love
I hold dear to my heart
they are borrowed and
not mine at all
Nothing special in these words alone, but marry them to her melody and the way the score breaks up and emphasizes the thoughts, both syntactically and musically, and you begin to realize what made Rambo such a genius.
As for the Hinsons, they specialized in songs that just beg to be staged with live instruments, and though, like all the performances in this showcase, the singing consistently ranged from uneven to pretty rough, the scarcity o f both live bands in sg and material like the Hinsons’, which is written with a band as much as vocalists in mind, made their set stand out.Email this Post