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posted by [personal profile] owlfish at 09:47pm on 01/04/2012 under ,
Way back when I was an undergraduate, [livejournal.com profile] maxineofarc introduced me to a band called Cordelia's Dad. I went to a number of their concerts over my years in Western Mass, not always with her. Their lead singer, musician, and composer was named Tim Eriksen, scholar of early American songs, sacred harp singer, and accomplished folk musician. In terms of accomplishments, he's only added more instruments to his repertoire over the intervening years.

This weekend, he played in Notting Hill as part of the Tabernacle Folk Festival. It was my first time at the venue, a friendly mix of café/restaurant, art gallery, dance studio, and performance space in a sensibly divided-up ex-church. As part of the festival, there were two concerts - we only attended the first, which was mostly Tim Eriksen, but with a sponsored older and young musician collaboration in the middle, and a first-time public collaboration between Eriksen and Eliza Carthy for the last section.

He began with "Farewell to Old Bedford", one of only two songs he performed which I knew from his Cordelia's Dad days. He continued through a largely late eighteenth-century set, with fiddle, bajo sexto, guitar, and banjo. The last song was banjo, an utterly extraordinary performance of virtuoso fingerpicking, which ended with playing off of the resonances between strings, frame, and his deep, rich voice, resonating the instrument beyond his last plucking from behind its soundboard. The bajo sexto was the only instrument he'd traveled with from the US: thanks to luggage restrictions, it was much easier to borrow on arrival.

The set with Eliza Carthy was a fun, somewhat haphazard one, with some prepared songs, and some improvised from common knowledge, including several sacred harp ones. My favorite was a song for which he knew an upbeat version, and she knew a downbeat one, but when her tune was transposed to major, they played nicely off of each other: an ultimately perky song about winter, death, and time to think of the poor.

I'm delighted we were able to go!
There are 6 comments on this entry. (Reply.)
 
posted by [identity profile] maxineofarc.livejournal.com at 03:03am on 02/04/2012
You left out the part about how he was smokin' hot.
 
posted by [identity profile] momist.livejournal.com at 07:29am on 02/04/2012
Now, I'm jealous. I wish I could have been there!
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posted by [personal profile] owlfish at 10:45am on 02/04/2012
He'll be in Kendal on Thurs April 12th if you're free that day....

http://www.breweryarts.co.uk/event-detail.cfm?id=2367&type=4
 
posted by [identity profile] momist.livejournal.com at 10:09pm on 02/04/2012
Thank you Shana, but without the estimable Eliza, I probably won't make the effort.
 
posted by [identity profile] maxineofarc.livejournal.com at 02:48am on 04/04/2012
He's doing a few shows with Cath and Phil Tyler coming up if that sweetens the deal any!
 
posted by [identity profile] relentlesstoil.livejournal.com at 01:18am on 07/04/2012
How great that you got to experience this!

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