Aack! Aack! It’s already Friday and time for ¡Globalquerque!
and I haven’t written about the Barrence Whitfield concert from last Saturday yet! Ah, how the time flies.
So. I was, as it happens, the lucky winner of the DCF ticket giveaway to Barrence Whitfield last week. And I have a couple of confessions to make right up front. First, I knew little about Barrence Whitfield other than that his real name is Barry White (and I’m not sure *why* I knew that, though I really did). Second, I really enjoy going out to see music (and I’m not picky, I even enjoy going out to see music that I’m not fond of. I virtually *never* walk out. The only time I remember doing so was during an “arena rock” show at the Tractor Tavern in Seattle which featured an air machine and feathers, and I walked out because of my allergies. This is not because I haven’t been to astonishingly bad shows, mind – I’ve seen more than my fair share) but I a) don’t know much about music or musicians, despite my enjoyment of live music and b) barely ever go out, because I’m a total stick in the mud and usually on Friday/Saturday nights am so wiped that I just stay home.
Soo…I was really excited about this, because it would make me go out for live music, but conversely was nervous about this whole “write a review and post it on DCF” thing, since I don’t know anything and very rarely go out so have little to compare it to. In fact, I’m still nervous about it, which may be why I’ve procrastinated on this so long. But, here goes.
The show was an AMP show at Low Spirits. Low Spirits, for those of you who haven’t been there, is a small club with a handful of tables and (given its size) a sizeable dance floor. This turned out to be a good thing. The opening band was a Taos-based group named Big Swing Theory (on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Big-Swing-Theory/134285116590757
, a four-piece group featuring Jackson Price on guitar, Conrad Cooper on upright bass, Casey Arrillaga on drums and Jeremy Jones on saxophone. They played a lively (and substantial) set of mostly swing and some blues. That large-ish dance floor came in handy, as a number of very impressive dancers showed off their swing dancing skills. I am not a dancer, AT ALL, but I wished I was…
…which emotion only increased during the Barrence Whitfield set. Barrence Whitfield’s website (http://www.barrencewhitfield.com/about.htm
) describes him as a “full-throttle soul screamer” which just about covers it. It was a fantastic set. The band included guitarist Peter Greenberg (currently of Taos, but who originally discovered Barrence Whitfield in Boston, MA – Mr. Whitfield commented that this was their first time playing together in about 25 years) and bassist Phil Lenker; they were joined by Casey Arrillaga and Jeremy Jones from Big Swing Theory. The dancers who first emerged during the opener showed their stamina, and were eventually joined by Mr. Whitfield himself. The set of 18 songs (including a few from his first album, which he mentioned is being re-released) was followed by an encore of three songs (the last two of which had been played earlier in the evening; apparently someone had offered $1000 for the repeat).
The music was fabulous, the energy was high - definitely, Barrence Whitfield is one of the highest-energy performers I’ve ever seen (he was delighted when Neil Copperman handed him a towel partway through the set) – and I had a fabulous time. So much so, that I’m actually going to get my butt over to ¡Globalquerque! this year, something I’ve been meaning to do really ever since ¡Globalquerque! got started. And as I left Low Spirits, I said to my date, you know, I think maybe I’d better join AMP
, since I really do love going out, and maybe if I joined it I’d go out a little more often…
Thanks, DCF, for getting me out the door to a great show!