|photo by J. Barrett Wolf|
This past weekend my husband and I went to hear Jack and his band in Marstons Mills, MA, which is on Cape Cod. Here is an account of it as best I could do, for those who were unable to attend. (If you were there, please chime in and add your thoughts too.)
The performance was in a small old-fashioned civic hall. I didn't think to count the people, but the place was full, we were pleased to see that.
Because Denny Williams was ill, Hugh O'Doherty had agreed to open. He played several of his own songs, mostly humorous. His brother joined him on stage to sing an Irish drinking song, a capella--it was a standout.
Accompanying Jack for the evening were Tom Duval and Mike Laureanno. Recognizing he was in for a ribbing and wanting to get it over with right away, Tom acknowledged he had left his guitar back at Mike's house, where the three had been rehearsing for the new recording they are working on. He had to borrow Hugh's accoustic guitar. (He did a great job of making do, though. Very fancy fingers.) Both Mike and Tom had their skills very much in evidence, a treat for the ears.
There's never a whole lot of talk on stage when Jack performs, and what there is, is economical. This night was particularly so, though Jack did mention he was just back from a month in Ireland. The songs and the faces say everything you need to know.
Here is the list of what they played, with asterisks by the songs I had not heard before, and a few comments.
It was a a fine performance, and very moving. Old songs made a comfortable familiar framework on which to weave the new raw material. I heard no political or religious conclusions, no blame, no self-pity, no rallying cry; just the deepest sorrow for a brother lost, the senseless enormity of it, and the emerging resilience that eventually allows one to move on.
Mary Jane Cuneo
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