Greg Brown -- October 28, 1996

Tyrone Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis, Minnesota


Date sent: Fri, 1 Nov 96 03:52:36 UT
From: "Alan Kellman" <>
Subject: Minneapolis


I'm sorry this took me so long. It's been a hectic week.

I'm not really sure where to start. What a concert. What a night. Unquestionably on of the best music events (not just concert, as you'll see later) of my life.

Kelly Joe opened the show. I've been a fan of Kelly Joe for a little while and I love the way he sounds on "Further In". Seeing him and Greg together was the primary reason I drove so far to the show. Unfortunately he only played for about half an hour. The only song I remember by name was "I Shall Not Be Moved". Kelly Joe is one of the few artists currently recording traditional acoustic blues. As is obvious on Further In, he plays an amazing acoustic slide guitar, sort of like an acoustic Roy Rogers (the blues guitarist, not the country singer) if you know what he sounds like. He puts the guitar on his lap and just picks and slides away. He's got sort of a heartfelt bluesy singing style that works perfectly for spirituals and old traditional blues. His album, "Lead Me On", on Burnside Records is an excellent late night in the dark, melt into album. Just as "Further In" is but for different reasons. If that makes any sense.

Greg was amazing. His voice just sounded so good. He was in a great mood and seemed really excited to be doing a show with all these fine musicians. I spoke to Lynn of FT&A (Greg's booking agents) today and she told that he really enjoyed the show. Greg said something to the effect of it having great energy.

Throughout the show different musicians from the album (all were there except Randy Sabien) joined him on stage. Gordy Johnson on standup bass was the only one who played on every song. Gordy was wonderful. His bass really filled out the sound. All of the other musicians were also wonderful - Kelly Joe on acoustic slide, Bo with electric guitar and slide, Dean with acoustic lead guitar and Kate's vocals.

After the show Bob Feldman invited Me, Regina and Regina's friend Judy to the post concert party. That was a really special treat. Greg, all of the band members and lots of other cool people were there. All the band musicians were super friendly and everybody was in a great mood. I spoke to all of them. Kelly Joe and Dean at a little more length. Dean is a really funny guy. Also, I got to speak to John Gorka a bit.

They had posters featuring the cover art from "Further In". Regina and I got the musicians to sign them for us. I'll be framing mine this weekend. Kate was really nice. After signing the poster, she brought me and the poster over to Greg and Kelly and helped me interrupt them to sign it. At that point, the party was about an hour long and I was itching to talk to Greg. I appreciated the assist from Kate.

I totally suffer an inability to engage Greg in meaningful conversation. I'm jealous of Karen for the great conversations she recently had with him. This conversation started off as poorly as ever. But thanks to an assist from Karen (even though she wasn't there) I recovered and actually had a brief but nevertheless intelligent conversation with Greg.

I mentioned the book by Mary Pipher that Karen recently wrote about. I had picked it up over the weekend and skimmed it enough to mention the chapter entitled "One Big Town" and that one of the quotes was from the song "People with Bad Luck". I had trouble remembering the quote but after spitting out the first two words, Greg quickly recited "sometimes it feels that we should be grateful for every breath and other times it's a miracle that we don't all drink ourselves to death". Greg was impressed that she had quoted such an "obscure" (Greg's word) song. I agreed, but was even more impressed that he recalled the lyric so clearly and quickly. In the Dark With You is his third Red House album and he has written SO many songs since then. Hey Karen - Thank You

I wonder if Mary Pipher is on the Internet. It would be cool if she joined our list.

Overall, a truly tremendous evening. For those who couldn't make it don't despair. I'm sure they'll do it again with his next release. Right Bob?

Song List:

The show went something like this.  (I'm fairly confident about the order and
players for the first half of the show after that its all a blissfull blur)

1. Small Dark Movie (Kelly Joe, Gordy)

2. Think About You (Kelly Joe, Gordy)

3. A song about Robert Johnson that might have been called "Dusty Roads" or
something like that (I     think Kelly Joe, Gordy)

4. China (Bo, Gordy) - Had an even more beautiful prolonged fade out than on
the album.  For some reason a lot of the audience thought it was funny when he
would repeat the word "China".  This kind of bugged me.  The song is not
supposed to be funny, but I probably shouldn't be so hyper about it.

5. One More Goodnight Kiss (Bo, Gordy) - Beautiful

6. Mississippi Moon (Bo, Gordy) - Bo sounded great.  Greg introduced it by
talking about how kid's understand that there really is a boogey man.  Adults
choose to not believe in such things and in the process of filtering it out,
they also filter out their sense of wonder.  (Or something like that)

7. No Place Away (Bo, Gordy, maybe Kate)  - A treat for me.  I love this song
and I don't think I've ever seen him do it before.

8. Driftless - (Somewhere around here, Bo went off and Dean McGraw came on),
done as a beautiful duet with Kate.

9. A Woman Like Me - (Kate on lead vocals, Greg backup)

10. If You Don't Get It At Home - (Kate, Dean, Gordy)

I'm really unsure of the order and players for the rest of the concert.

Friend Like You

If I Ever Do See You Again

She Moved Through The Fair - Done for his Irish guitar.

Hey Baby Hey - Dean came out for this one even though he wasn't supposed to.
He improvised well.  The audience seemed to find humor in this song too.  I
can't figure it out.

I'm Not High

Further In - featured Bo who got onstage midsong.  Good thing he was in tune.

Where Is Maria? - What a beautiful song.

If I Had Known

Hacklebarney Tune - Greg talked about his grandfather who played banjo as the

Two Little Feet - everybody except Kate

I'm pretty confident that those were all the songs.  I can't believe that he
played twenty songs.  It seemed like the concert was only 40 minutes long.  I
was really psyched that he didn't do any of his long funny narrative songs
(ie. "You drive me crazy", "Morning Coffee", "Fishin with Bill", and "Just By
Myself"). I think this is the first time that I saw him and he did not do
"Just By Myself".  These songs are all great, but how many times can you laugh
to the same jokes.  I'd rather just hear him sing in that wonderful voice of