Monday, November 14, 2016

I Just Want To Be A Guy With A Guitar - Jeff Buckley

I have no advice for anybody; except to, you know, be awake enough to see where you are at any given time, and how that is beautiful, and has poetry inside. Even places you hate ~Jeff Buckley

Jeff would have turned 50 this week and once again we celebrated his life and legacy at Arlene's Grocery. Musician Robert Urban once again brought together stellar performers who all share the same love and passion about Jeff and his talent. With all of the recent passing of legendary performers this year, many of Jeff's influences became an impromptu double celebration of  life and the love of music.

Edwin J. Blas started off the evening with All Flowers in Time as everyone began to trickle in.  Canadian musician f√ľnyboht aka Michael A. Myszkowski gave us stirring versions of Grace's  Eternal Life and Sketches' Sky is a Landfill.

Opened Once, The Way Young Lovers Do came from Spain via Angelo Magni.

A return Tribute performer, Elijah Black performed Jeff's covers from Runaway Train, a stunning Nothing Compares 2 U,  and Border Song. 

The ladies followed with Francesca MacAaron singing Lilac Wine and Lover You Should Have Come Over. More songs from Sketches with Danielle Grabianouwski singing Morning Theft. Tracy Stark began with a Joni Mitchell classic Peoples' Parties and then gave us a chance to sing along with the song that introduced us to Jeff: Hallelujah. 

The man behind the evening, Robert Urban always treats us to covers that Jeff performed at Arlene's or Sin-e. With Bob Dylan's recent Nobel Prize, his  Just like a Woman was a perfect choice for the night, played and sung so perfectly. 

From France, we saw a band you must check out:  This is Chronicles. They were very thankful to be performing not just for an artist they were inspired by, but because one year ago, they all lost friends at the Bataclan in Paris. Before the audience could regain their breath from that statement, they went into a heavy yet soothing  Dream Brother and What Would You Say. They followed with an original, Let Me Disappear.

Tribute veterans Mike Linkens and The Jenny's were again phenomenal. Their delivery of  I Want Someone Badly and Nightmares by the Sea are classic Buckley with heavy chords and the harsh and soft voice yin yang that Jeff perfected. Their performance is always a highlight of the night.

And for his second year, Gary Lucas, Jeff's collaborator and Gods and Monsters founder told personal stories of writing and playing with Jeff. He was joined by the soulful Felice Rosser. Together Mojo Pin and Grace came to life in the venue that Jeff once played. 

 Each year, it amazes me to hear how many people are new to Jeff Buckley. Amazes me how few listened to anything other than Grace. Selfishly, I get jealous when those people do discover him. His voice, angelic and haunting, the rip tide and the gentle ebb, you want all to yourself. He sings to you and no one else. But, selflessly, the world needs a little more Jeff Buckley. 

 Leave your office
Run past your funeral
Leave your home, car
Leave your pulpit
Join us in the streets where we
Join us in the streets where we
Don't belong, don't belong
You and the stars
Throwing light

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