February 05, 2005

Chanteuse

Tonight at Innkeepers', I went to see Andru Bemis again---he's kicking off a month-long train tour of the country. With him was a musician friend of his: Rachel Ries is wrapping up her second album, and will officially begin her own tour next month, but Andru talked her into coming along to Galesburg this weekend.

She's pretty awesome. The melodies she sings are complicated and actually pretty difficult, but she executes them with such casual precision that you'd think that they were really easy. She also does some interesting things rhythmically that she can get away with since she's her own accompaniment. And let's just say I wish I didn't play the banjo as well as she "doesn't play banjo".

Strangely enough, I bought her two CDs, and the album from five years ago is... fine, but not as good as her other stuff, just in terms of the writing. The stuff on the EP/demo is much better, and the songs she sang tonight that will be on her next album are fantastic. At one point, she played a song called "Two Sleepy People"---an old standard, apparently---that had such a catchy melody and that she sung so whimsically and well that we actually made her sing it again. Afterwards, she said that learning that song had really changed the way she writes; and I can believe it, because her "Summertime", my favourite, was written right after that.

She'll be back in Galesburg in April, and I hope the new CD is done by then, because I really want to buy it.

Oh, and for the party afterwards I made an apple crisp; an easy recipe from the good old Betty Crocker cookbook made trivial by the clever new apple peeler/corer/slicer I got for Christmas. That thing is so cool and easy to use. I definitely need to start making more apple-based things.

"Faith without works is nothing! And works without faith... is still pretty good." --Jon Stewart

Posted by blahedo at 2:20am on 5 Feb 2005
Comments
I've actually heard of Mr. Bemis before, amazingly enough. One of the guys I work with is a musician-type and knows him from a while back. We were talking about people who choose not to settle down and/or get up and go suddenly. I'm amazed by how he lives his life. So very... free. Posted by Chelsea at 11:37pm on 7 Feb 2005
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