Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Schomberg Fair made my week.

I've spent less time at shows this week. Been taking it easy, not going too crazy in this wicked heat and trying to get some work done on my chapter. So, good. Tuesday night I spent a couple hours at the Boat, saw Brad Casey and another singer-songwriter named Kirby. Weird crowd that night. Burlington-ites, I think, out for Kirby and the headliner (Blind Mule). They were making a lot of noise. Which was too bad for them.

On Thursday I decided to devote my time to the (weework) showcase happening at the Horseshoe. One of my favourite local bands, the Schomberg Fair, was headlining that night. Before them, the Unionist Ministers (good, if a little bit tame country rock) and Canteen Knockout (nice sounding foot-tapping country music, but OH MY SO BORING for that time and place. May I suggest the Dakota Tavern next time?). Sorry, but sheesh. I was not in the mood. I gave them a shot, then had to leave for a bit before the Schombergers finally hit the stage.

It was worth the wait.

Seeing them perform at the end of a long night---my patience was wearing thin, I've gotta say---really drove home to me the reality of their excellence. I see a lot of bands, and have a lot of really fun nights out at shows and dance parties. So much so that I sometimes forget just how incredible some of the bands I see really are, and how amazing it is that I get to see them again and again. Their set was a real treat. The place came alive as soon as they started playing. The dancefloor had been nearly empty all night long, but suddenly all the fans and well wishers came forward to dance and hoot and holler. Well after midnight on a Thursday, mind you.

The Schomberg Fair. Their songs are lovely and meaningful and display skillful musicianship. For me, though, it's their live shows that really make them stand out. They bring so much energy and never just play to get a show over with. Awesome. You gotta see them if you haven't already. And you'll probably like their album ("Dark Was the Night, Hard Was the Ground") too.

As I write this I'm obsessively listening to Old Man Luedecke. I especially like---apart from all of his songs---"I Quit My Job," which continues, "I'm free today." Nice. What a charmer that guy is. Another performer best seen and heard together.

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