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Legends and new talent
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Legends and new talent

by Mercy Moosemuzzle - SGN Contributing Writer

Dr. John
Mercy was moved to her feet by Dr. John's performance at Jazz Alley. She had to agree with another person in the audience who said he works with the best musicians. Indeed, the members of the Lower 9-11 - guitarist Reynard Poché, bassist David Barard and drummer Herman "Roscoe" Ernest III - knocked the audience's socks off. Dr. John alternated between organ and piano, sometimes playing on both at the same time. His voice was rich and compelling.

The group opened with "Keep That Music Simple," a song that rocked in their hands. They followed with "I'm Moving on Home," a slow, delicious piece. They did a funky version of "Old Man He Came Home One Night," which Dr. John described as a song he thought had originated in New Orleans, until he sang it in Ireland and had someone sing it back to him in Gaelic. "Black Widow" was slinky. "Without You" was slow and sad. "I've Been a Voodoo" brought the energy back up. The band had everyone up dancing to "I Was in the Right Place."

Mercy liked Dr. John's lyrics in "Dream Warrior": "Lemme explain/About the second battle of New Orleans/Not about the loss, not even the devastation/About what was done with intention."

Also from his latest CD, City Without Care, "Save Our Wetlands" is a pointed song. As Dr. John said, "If you lived where the government let your city slide into the gulf, you'd do this, or more than this."

"I Go Fishing" was a fun song. Dr. John's "Staggerlee" was a fresh take. He brought "Blues in the Night" new meaning. "If I Don't Do It, You Know Somebody Else Will" was nice and sassy. A woman sitting next to Mercy said, "They must have played 20 songs." Mercy had to agree it was a generous set. She joined joyfully in the standing ovation.

The Ring and Das BarbecÜ
Mercy and Cuteness enjoyed Wagner's Ring at Seattle Opera, though they found it long. One friend, Kaboodle Accountant, said she could eat Stephanie Blythe's voice like cake. Assonance Blankverse told Mercy she had heard the Rhinemaidens had had to practice singing while doing aerial acrobatics for a year, because the combination was so challenging. Greer Grimsley's Wotan was well-sung and energetic. Mercy's group wasn't crazy about Janice Baird's voice as Brünnhilde, though she grew on them during the week. Cuteness thought Baird milked the applause a bit too much.

Mercy and her buddies enjoyed Jim Luig's and Scott Warrender's country and western send-up of the Ring, Das Barbecü, at ACT, a lot. Cuteness was amazed at how tightly the set and costume changes were organized. Similarly, Mercy liked the ensemble's energy. Cuteness' favorite line was Fricka calling Erda a "subterranean psychic slut." Mercy's was someone referring to the valkyries as "those horsey people, up by Waco." The two appreciated that Das Barbecü had a much happier ending than the original.

Edie Carey
Mercy has been enjoying some of Edie Carey's lyrics and music because she is going to be one of the performers on the inaugural Sweet Cruise to the Caribbean in November. Mercy was impressed that Carey had won a Patch Magazine songwriting contest that was going to lead her to be on another cruise to the Caymans. When she talked to Edie on the phone, she asked her how that had come about. The singer said that she had responded to an ad along with 400 others, who had been cut down to 20 by judges. People got to vote on those 20 online, and that group was cut down to three. Another group of judges selected Carey from the three. The song she had submitted was "Hollywood Ending." She said she thinks a lot of people relate to its heartbreak.

Mercy also was impressed by its words. "We're all fools for something, someone/She's your loveliest weakness/He was my longest, loveliest weakness/Loveliest weakness/He was my longest goodbye/My hardest try/My truest lie."

She asked Edie what place entertaining on the first Sweet Cruise has in her career. Carey said she started writing songs just to get out what she related to. Being able to use work she wrote for herself to entertain others is great, but being able to use it for good is even better. She loves Sweet's "voluntourism" opportunities. She says, like other performers, she enjoys doing benefits. Edie says she feels Sweet's founder, Shannon Wentworth, has it all together. Check out their website at www.discoversweet.com for more information.

Coming Up
Amber Darland, the cute butch Mercy and Cuteness enjoyed at the Laughing Ladies Music Festival, is having a CD release party on August 29, 8-11 p.m., at Empty Sea Studios, 6300 Phinney Ave. N., Seattle, WA. Also singing is Angie Evans. Tickets ($10 advance, $12 at the door) can be purchased online www.emptysea.com/2009/08/amber-darland-angie-evans or visit www.emptysea.com for more info.

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