Greg Brown -- May 2-4, 1997

May 2nd: Shedd Theater, Davis Discovery Center, Columbus, Ohio
May 3rd: Ford Auditorium, Cleveland, Ohio
May 4th: The Ark, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Date: Fri, 16 May 1997 12:25:02 -0400
From: (Marni Rachmiel)
Subject: belated Ohio pilgrimage report

Ok folks, it's a little late but here's the skinny on the Ohio and A2 shows the first weekend in May. (uh, it's long. 3 shows. exhaustive detail.)

Friday, May 2nd, Shedd Theater, Davis Discovery Center, Columbus, Ohio


Friday, 5/2, Columbus. Little theater no-one had heard of, driving in the rain from A2, late of course (it was that one wrong turn...), praying that after driving 3 hours i don't miss any actual Greg. I was in luck, arrived for the last song of the opener.

(ok, ok...)Wardrobe: black sleeveless t-shirt, green/brown pants, tweedish cap on backwards, red sunglasses.

Song List:


  1. I'm This Blue
  2. Good Morning Coffee
  3. Slow Food
  4. You Drive Me Crazy
  5. If You Don't Get it at Home
  6. Fishing with Bill
    (some guy in the audience had yelled out: "Do a Bill Morrissey song!". Greg said "Yeah, I write all of Bill's songs" and did a perfect impression of Bill's response to a fishing invitation: "I can't, i'm writing a novel." Another priceless comment on the intricacies of fishing: "All that effort to outthink a fish this (hands 8" apart) big with a brain the size of a BB.")
  7. Two Little Feet
  8. You Gave Me Flowers
  9. In Some Dusty Woods
  10. Vincent Black Lightning 1952
  11. an Irish Song (Greg said, since he'd done a British song, he needed to do an Irish song, since his Grandmother's family was all Irish. didn't recognize the song, tho part of the chorus was "the sea is wide"; it might have been a (very) variant of "the water is wide"? (so much for my musicology degree!) Anyway it was beautiful and dreamy.
  12. Canned Goods
  13. A Place in the Country
  14. Speaking in Tongues
  15. Jesus & Elvis
  16. All Day Rain
An excellent show!!

Saturday, May 3rd, Ford Auditorium, Cleveland, Ohio


Saturday 5/3, Cleveland. Greg's first appearence there ever. Very obscure theater, turned out to be inside a medical library. Nice little theater once you find it!)

Wardrobe: black cut-off with a galaxy on it, same pants, same hat, non-red shades.

"rainy jazzy bluesy kinda mood..."

Song List:

  1. I'm This Blue
  2. You Drive Me Crazy
  3. Good Morning Coffee
  4. Slow Food
  5. Happy By Myself
  6. Spring Wind
  7. If You Don't Get it at Home
  8. Speaking in Tongues (w/ sing-along)
  9. Two Little Feet
    Towards the end a string broke. He says, "It's always the G string." "Any questions?" while changing the string. Someone asks about his Grandma. Greg says she's been gone for a while now. And that he's building a cabin down on her old farm, and he's gonna garden by the moon like she did. Said his Grandpa didn't believe in this moon stuff, figured out the absolute worst time to plant tomatoes, and went out and planted them. Greg, hearing this story, asks, "Well, how's they do, Grandpa?" "Fell over and died."
    To another string, trying to tune: "Don't be so sensitive! So the other string is newer."
  10. Canned Goods
  11. China
    Greg tells a story about the year his family made a book of poems, stories, pictures, songs, for Christmas presents, and his song "The Train Carrying Jimmie Rogers Home" was included; his daughter drew an illustration. The picture had a house being carried by a train, the letters "J.R." on the house. ... It was the train carrying Jimmie Rogers' home. Greg said he had to stop performing that song for years 'cause he would crack up. :)
  12. Old Hippies
    (Incredible line of poetry, for those who haven't heard it: "Thanks for the letters you brought me to burn/ their smoke is as light and as dark as your touch."
  13. If I Had Known
    (bizarre audience note: there were maybe 5 guys or more, sitting right up front, chewing gum in rhythm w/ the guitar beat. well, almost in rhythm. I'm into watching Greg, but these slapping jaws are grabbing my attention in a really surrealistic sort of way...)
  14. Small Dark Movie
  15. Billy From the Hills
    (Greg on coming to terms with your parents and getting on with life already: (looks at his watch) "by the time you get to be around my age, you figure out, you're gonna be somewhat like your parents, so it's easier if you get along with them, saves time."
  16. Poet Game
    (gum chewers still at it!)
  17. Jesus & Elvis
  18. You Gave Me Flowers
  19. Wash My Eyes

Sunday, May 4th, The Ark, Ann Arbor, Michigan


Sunday 5/4 back home in A2, met Erik and Linda (Hi Erik!) for dinner and then to the Ark! It was fun to see folks discovering the wonders of live Greg for the first time. No opener! Looong show. :) (maybe almost as long as this post. But better.) Wardrobe: a suit!!! the red sunglasses, and... no hat! (I was right up front to the side, and i could kind of see behind his sunglasses, and i think he closes his eyes a lot when he sings n plays. Which makes more sense of the sunglasses to me (not that it has to make sense to me!) - i can see the need to be very internal to perform the way he does, and it's kind of funny watching someone sing/talk with their eyes closed.)

Song List:

  1. I'm This Blue
  2. You Drive Me Crazy
  3. Slow Food
  4. Good Morning Coffee
  5. Happy By Myself
    (takes off the suit jacket: "I try to dress nice, and it heats up!")
  6. Loneliness House
  7. Speaking in Tongues (sing-along)
  8. If You Don't Get it at Home
  9. You Gave Me Flowers
  10. One Wrong Turn
  11. Two Little Feet
  12. Some Dusty Woods
  13. Old Hippies
  14. China
  15. If I Had Known
  16. Who'da Thunk It
    ("Enchanted Broccoli Forest, Tofu, Pinenuts, Moosewood...")
  17. Laughing River
  18. Further In
  19. someone asked for a Dylan song, and Greg does the first verse of Tangled Up in Blue, in a perfect Dylan impression. Hee hee! then, seriously, he does a Dylan song i don't know the name of, the chorus has something like "One too many mornings and a thousand miles behind." ??
  20. The Joint is a Dump
    He tells the story of the actual place...drum Albuquerque NM.
  21. Small Dark Movie
  22. Canned Goods (very different intro and accompaniment than i've heard...)
  23. Spring Wind
    (talks about his Italian voice teacher back in high school, classical training, how she probably wouldn't approve of what he's doing now...)(but we sure do!)
  24. Jesus & Elvis
  25. Vincent Black Lightning 1952

I talked to him a teeny bit (it's easier cuz i was volunteering) but i get so goofy! He was really nice.

3 incredible shows. A memorable weekend in this life. Thanks Greg!

May you all experience such wonders. - Marn