Girls with Guitars

Girls with Guitars



Thursday evening we went to go see basically what is known as a guitar pull – or where a few artists sit around with their guitars and alternate turns singing their songs, or other people’s songs.

But these weren’t just any artists I guess. No, here we had Emmylou Harris, Shawn Colvin and Patty Griffin. They were joined by Buddy Miller.

This isn’t the first time we’d seen something like this. Three years ago we saw a similar set, but replace Harris for Mary Chapin Carpenter and Miller for Dar Williams.

The other night wasn’t too much different than a few years back. Four chairs, eight guitars, four mics and that’s about it. No screens and no lighting scheme. Basics with only the talent to make or break the show. Needless to say they made it – but not without some

It’s not shock that I knew all the women’s songs and only some of Buddy’s. I had never seen Emmylou live before and she was the reason I wanted to go so badly. She did not disappoint. The woman is a legend and a voice like none other. The voice and woman were absolutely stunning. And she’s funny. She lamented about the sad state of movies – and how she could not stand No Man for Country and There Will Be Blood. She demands a movie with a happy ending – she thinks she’s earned it.

Harris performed songs from all over her career – “Poncho & Lefty” all the way up to “Michelangelo” from Red Dirt Girl.

Colvin, in my mind, was the strongest – but she usually is. Her song choices, her guitar skills and extremely strong and clear voice. She mixed the older (“Tennessee”) with the new in songs (the excellent “Cinnamon Road”) – and even throwing in a cover of “Rugged Road”, which she claims to have never played live – telling the other women ‘don’t fuck up’, which went over well with the group and audience.  Colvin’s banter in most concerts is as good as the music. I could hang out with her easily, I think.

Griffin was the only iffy one – and I know I’m being hypercritical. No offense to her – she was in great voice, but performed almost exactly the same songs she did three years back. What gives? I’ve heard “Flaming Red”, “Mary”, “Long Ride Home” and “Tomorrow Night” before. Gimme something different!  She’s got enough to choose from – and I thought a logical one would have been “Beyond the Blue”, which she wrote but was recorded by Emmylou .   That being said, she did do a newer song, which is about teen gay suicide that uses the word ‘fag’ a few too many times for my liking.

We had ok seats. Nothing outstanding. I sat behind a guy with the head the size of huge melon and Denton was behind a guy 8″ taller than he. Better doors than windows.  But there was a good crowd, which always bodes well for a return of something like this.

Song by: Mary Chapin Carpenter

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