Home > Concert Photos, Indie Rock, Rock & Pop, Singer-Songwriter > REVIEW: A 3-day string of shows with Peter Mulvey (Eugene & Corvallis, OR – 11/10 to 11/12/11)

REVIEW: A 3-day string of shows with Peter Mulvey (Eugene & Corvallis, OR – 11/10 to 11/12/11)

13th Nov 11 (Sun) Leave a comment Go to comments

Peter Mulvey takes the craft of American singer-songwriter out of the humdrum of a “guy and three chords on a guitar” into the realm of oft-comedic-oft-sentimental storytelling mixed in with the grit of the road and the shine of fine silver in your grandmother’s dining room.  He plays Tom Waits with humility and charm, and he plays perfectly ear-worm inducing folk-pop originals.  He plays show tunes, rock covers, and Michael Hedges-executed instrumentals.  His music gets stuck in your head, and for me, any time I hear of new music from him, I get it without question.  I also try to see him whenever I can… which brings me to recount the past three days of fantastic music.

from the house concert, 11/11/11
more photos at the bottom

Three Peter Mulvey concerts, three unique experiences.  First up, an interview with Peter Mulvey on KLCC Living Large (stream it here).  He talks about his tentative new standards album (tentatively called “Pocket Diamonds“) and played a few new songs in the studio.

The first of three shows was at Sam Bond’s Garage in Eugene on Thursday, November 10th.  The opener was local musician Michael Conley.  He played a shortish 25 minute set, but I was impressed with his songs… he fit in really well with fans of Peter Mulvey and Jeffrey Foucault.  Good guitar work.  Gritty songs, yet with a pop edge.

Peter came on at 9:45 and started off with a normal closing song for him, “Sad, Sad, Sad, Sad (And Far Away From Home).”  As expected, Peter’s set was a great mix of originals and covers.  Despite the large amount of covers that he plays, he really puts his own mark on them.  He also pulls songs out that are classics or memorable favorites but not in the forefront of one’s memory.  A favorite from the night was his take on U2’s “The Fly“…

Eugene 11/10 Setlist: ~80 minutes

  • Sad, Sad, Sad, Sad (and Far Away From Home)
  • Are You Sure? [Willie Nelson]
  • Old Simon Stimson
  • “The Rain Comes Down” [new PM song]
  • The Knuckleball Suite
  • Two Janes [Los Lobos]
  • Come All Ye Fair And Tender Ladies [Maybelle Carter]
  • Some People
  • Lonely at the Top [Randy Newman]
  • Black Rabbit
  • What Else Was It? [new PM song]
  • Lord I Have Made You a Place in My Heart [Greg Brown]
  • The Dreams
  • Blackbird [The Beatles]
  • Charlie
  • The Fly [U2]
  • Kids In The Square
  • Encore: The Book of Love [The Magnetic Fields]

Peter is usually good with a few one-liners or jokes.  Some favorites from the Sam Bond’s gig:

Freedom should be fried.
I had a banjo once, and then someone broke into my car… and they left 12 more banjos.

SO, how do you make a concert experience better?  You invite the musician to your house (or a friend’s house in this instance) and have him play in a living room for 35-40 of your friends.

Well, that’s what we did on Friday, November 11th… we invited Peter to play at a friend’s farm in Creswell (near Eugene).  He played two fantastic sets, with only a little bit of overlap from the night before.  There was much fantastic music, fantastic food (a HUGE vegetarian smorgasbord thanks to host Jenny!), vegan cupcakes (yay Divine Cupcake!), great craft beer and homebrew beers and sodas, and great discussion!

House Show 11/11 Setlist: two 45-minute sets

  • Set1 ~ You Meet the Nicest People in Your Dreams [Fats Waller]
  • “shout the battle cry of freedom” [public domain w/ Beatles instrumental tag at end]
  • Kids In The Square
  • Windshield
  • Pearl Handled Pistol [Jeffrey Foucault]
  • The Knuckleball Suite
  • Shirt
  • What Else Was It? [new PM song]
  • …Plus The Many Inevitable Fragments / Dynamite Bill
  • Set2 ~ Black Rabbit
  • Charlie
  • The Trouble With Poets
  • Trempealeau [new from 2010, not recorded yet]
  • Jockey Full of Bourbon [Tom Waits]
  • “The Rain Comes Down” [new PM song]
  • The Healthfood Girl [new PM song]
  • Sad, Sad, Sad, Sad (and Far Away From Home)
    No Encore

I bought tickets to the Corvallis show (Saturday, November 12th) before I even knew about the Sam Bond’s show and before I could organize the house show.  Was I going to go?  Um… duh!

This was my first time to the Majestic Theatre in downtown Corvallis.  It was a gorgeously remodeled theater, and it looks like they’re ramping up to have a lot more exciting things going on (if you’re local, friend them on Facebook or sign up for their newsletter).

We had a wonderful dinner at Del Alma then dodged the rain to catch the opener Joe Von Appen.  I had only seen a YouTube clip of him prior, and it didn’t grab my interest.  Well, I’m glad I showed up for his set.  He was a mix of thinker/agitator/comedian/one-man freak show.  He was thought provoking, humorous, and frighteningly exciting and entrancing.  He is from Portland, and I hope he makes his way down south sometime again.  He was highly entertaining!

Peter hit the stage at 8:45 and played his longest set of the weekend.  Some repeats (hey, we like re-Petes) and tons of untouched music in the three-day run.  He did one of my favorite spoken word pieces from Letters From A Flying Machine – “Vlad the Astrophysicist.”

A new Mulvey tune “The Cardinal” made its first appearance for me.  It was a touching tune that came along with a seemingly non sequitur story about a squirrel getting into a large batch of THC butter.  Another favorite song he played was a Joe Henry cover… “Richard Pryor Addresses a Tearful Nation“… I think I’ve heard Peter play this before.  Prior to this, though, I was only familiar with Joe’s producer/mixer work (he does a LOT, specifically Over the Rhine’s latest album that I’m currently listening to in advance of their gig this coming week – The Long Surrender).

Peter also busted out not one, not two, but three Tom Waits tunes – the last one as the encore, sung off-mic.  He has a side gig in The LPs, and they play Tom Waits’ Rain Dogs front to back!  I’d LOVE to see that gig…

Corvallis 11/12 Setlist: ~1 hour 40 min

  • Kids In The Square
  • “man I’m broke and I’ve got nowhere to go” [Mississippi John Hurt, unidentified title]
  • Black Rabbit
  • Oh What A Beautiful Morning [Rodgers & Hammerstein Oklahoma! teaser]
  • The Dreams
  • Charlie
  • Shirt
  • “The Rain Comes Down” [new PM song, guess on title]
  • Richard Pryor Addresses a Tearful Nation [Joe Henry]
  • Girl in the Hi-Tops
  • Old Simon Stimson
  • Jockey Full of Bourbon [Tom Waits]
  • Hang Down Your Head [Tom Waits]
  • The Cardinal [new song]
  • What Else Was It? [new song]
  • Some People
  • Vlad The Astrophysicist
  • Mailman
  • Sad, Sad, Sad, Sad (and Far Away From Home)
  • Encore: Goodnight Irene [off-mic] [Tom Waits]

Some gems of info… Peter was once in an all-rollerskate version of Oklahoma!  Also, apparently, scientists have a difficult time showing THC toxicity in small animals.  A new expression Peter uttered… “the nickel of espresso dropped.” (explaining when the caffeine kicks in).  I dig it!

Peter has a new guitar duets CD out now, Nine Days Wonder, with long-time collaborator David “Goody” Goodrich.  It’s a fantastic record (click the image to the right for samples) – though it’s not really indicative of his live show.  Based on the amount of new material he played this weekend (five songs not on a PM record yet), it looks like he has a good start on a new studio record.  Here’s hoping!

In the meantime, check him out on Facebook, iTunes/Amazon, YouTube, etc… and go see him live if you get a chance.  He plays upwards of 120 live gigs a year all over the US (and sometimes in Europe, too).

I can guarantee you’ll like him (I’ve yet to hear someone who doesn’t love him when I drag them along to shows). :)

The Appropriate Linkage:

Next shows for me… Cirque du Soliel presents Michael Jackson: The Immortal (Eugene 11/15), rapper Chali 2Na (Eugene 11/16) and the Americana duo Over the Rhine (Portland 1/17).

~Dan – np: Over the RhineThe Long Surrender

PETER MULVEY PHOTOS 11/10 to 11/12/2011

 

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