Tuesday, July 19, 2011

WEGO: July 14th Enlighten Show!

Woody's Set (32 megs)
WEGO Set (82 megs)

Here are the recordings from WEGO's July show (and Woody's opening set) at the Enlighten Cafe! The full six-piece lineup was in effect for this one, including Woody Frank (acoustic steel-string, tamborine, and voice), Jenny Freeling (djembe), Dennis Jolin (uke, percussion, voice), Ian McKagen (electric guitar and voice), Jesse Silvertrees (djembe, dumbek, voice, etc…), and Me Woods (electric bass, leg percussion, and voice).

Woody played another fantastic and diverse set to kick things off, including a couple of favorites, a couple of surprising covers and at least a couple of other tunes that I'd never heard before. I think he has an acoustic album coming out soon! If it has half of the breadth, power, and ease of his live work, this should be one to pick up. (Unfortunately, I mistakenly thought I had already started the recording before his set, but it turned out it was just in standby mode until I double-checked near the beginning of his second tune … so there's a bit missing here.)

After that we launched a solid 70-minutes-or-so of WEGO. I slept on my homeward bus while listening to this set get started the other night, and my first impressions were that it was an unusually relaxed and dreamy show. Tentative beats built shifting vistas as Ian's rhythmic and spiraling guitar melodies wound their way into the morphing voices of my half-conscious mind.

It was my second show with the electric 5-string that I had borrowed from work, and for some reason a bunch of us decided to stand up to play. This combo seemed extra conducive to a certain danceable funk, but also seemed to revive my difficulties with playing bass and singing (not to mention limiting my ability to rock the foot-percussion as consistently). Part of it might be that the bass was actually loud enough that it seemed important that I maintain a consistent loop to my lines … which maybe encourages me to fit the words in around the bass, as opposed to the other way around.

Listening back, I'm enjoying the percussion variety throughout the sonic field and the grooves and changes are rich as ever. But I'm also noticing that there just wasn't much vocal cohesion on this one … perhaps it was the standing…? For whatever reason, we very rarely built up any kind of harmonization or even our usual cascading 'rounds'. So, not a bad show by any stretch, but perhaps a little light on one of the major elements that makes us unique.

But man was it good to play with this group again! Five weeks is too long. I'm glad to see some increased frequency on the horizon.

No comments: