Review: Nick Corr | Images: Steve Ford
A solo Steve Earle opened both his Thursday and Friday shows with ‘Tennessee Blues’. He managed to cover most of his career in his hour long set, from early material like Guitar Town’s title track, ‘Someday’, and ‘Devil’s Right Hand’, to selections from his recent covers collections ‘Mr Bojangles’ from Jerry Jeff and a touching ‘Harlem River Blues’ from his 2021 tribute to his son JT. ‘I Ain’t Ever Satisfied’ had a great crowd singalong, as did the closing ‘Copperhead Road’ played solo on mandolin.
Lucinda Williams and her band Buick Six played two impressively diverse sets over Thursday and Friday. Opening with ‘Can’t Let Go’ and a wonderful ‘Pineola’ respectively. Both shows included a Steve Earle guest appearance adding harmonica and backing vocals to her Blaze Foley tribute ‘Drunken Angel’, and a riveting performance of ‘You’re Still Standing There’’, their duet from Earle’s 1996 album I Feel Alright. Buick Six, especially guitarist Doug Pettibone, are in great form and previewed a couple of songs from Lucinda’s forthcoming album Stories from a Rock n Roll Heart: the stomping ‘Let’s Get The Band Back Together’, and very Heartbreakers sounding tribute to Tom Petty ‘Stolen Moments’. Although she was clearly struggling with her mobility after suffering a stroke several years ago, Lucinda was in fantastic voice and it was great to see her enjoying herself on stage, particularly with Friday’s closing cover of Neil Young’s ‘Rockin In The Free World’.
Sisters Rebecca and Meaghan Lovell of Larkin Poe had the Juke Joint jumping with their energetic blues on Thursday night. Opening with ‘Kick The Blues’, even pulling out a great Son House cover ‘Preachin’ Blues’ and playing the recent single ‘She’s A Self Made Man’.
The Mojo tent was packed early on Friday for a great set of slow blues jams from Christone ‘Kingfish’ Ingram, a perfect way to kick off Good Friday.
Across at the Juke Joint Finnish band Steve ‘n’ Seagulls delighted the crowd with bluegrass arrangements of Seventies and Eighties hard rock and metal including ‘Paradise City’, ‘My Sharona’ and ‘Carry On Wayward Son’.
South Carolina’s Marcus King played a surprisingly hard rocking set, culminating in show -closing mash-up of his 2020 single ‘The Well’ with Black Sabbath’s ‘War Pigs; although he did manage to show his more soulful side with a brief run through of Jimmy Cliff’s ‘Many Rivers to Cross’.
Beck delivered a fantastic career spanning set, kicking off with a wonderful run through ‘The Golden Age’. He included a couple of great covers, his tender reading of The Korgis ‘Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometime’ from the Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind soundtrack, and his recent recording of Neil Young’s ‘Old Man’ which generated an enormous crowd singalong. Beck was occasionally augmented by Australian musicians Shane Reilly and Shawn Supra on double bass and pedal steel or extra guitar, most effectively on ‘Sissyneck’ and a delightful Tropicalia’. Recent single ‘Thinking About You’ was great, as was Morning Phase’s tender ‘Waking Light’ played on piano. The biggest response was for his better-known songs including a piano led ‘Where It’s At’ and acoustic ‘Loser’.
Hollywood rhythm and blues powerhouse Vintage Trouble blasted through a high energy set late Friday, with their firecracker lead singer Ty Taylor jumping multiple barriers to get into the crowd to deliver their 2017 single ‘Knock Me Out’.
Local boys made good, Sydney formed but now London based Gang of Youths closed Friday night was a big anthemic set opening with ‘What Can I Do if The Fire Goes Out?’ and crowd favorite ‘The Heart is a Muscle’. The closed the night with ‘In the wake of your leave’ even including a snippet for The Hoodoo Gurus ‘What’s My Scene’ at the end.