Blake Thomas & his band/Jentri Colello; July 5, 2008; Café Montmartre
When Blake Thomas moved back to
The first recording of the record was done on Labor Day ’07, all eleven tracks committed to tape in a marathon one day recording session that yielded pretty stunning results. Even so, it wasn’t deemed “done” until Eric Anderson added keyboard parts and the staggeringly talented Shauncey Ali added his trademark fiddle. Oh, and the “drunken choir” had to have their say. The soon-to-be-classic barroom shout-along “I Don’t Want Your Heart I Want Your Liver” needed their hootin’ and hollerin’ for that realistic feel, and they were more than happy to repeat their role for the CD release show.
The night ended with an encore of that song, complete with broken glass, since “the band” didn’t know any more songs. These days Blake usually plays solo, but the CD release show called for something special. The band assembled tonight represented for the most part the players on the CD, the only notable absences were Chris Boeger on bass and Adam
A cycle of heartbreak and loneliness that followed him to
Before the full band took the stage, Blake and Shauncey treated us to a few songs from previous releases. The gorgeous simplicity of these versions (especially the aching “Kaitlyn”) has prompted more than one person to wish for a whole album’s worth of just the two of them. Jentri Colello started the night promptly at 10 with her own batch of smart, beautiful songs. Her debut EP Bird of Prey, which captures five of these songs, will see a release show of its own next weekend.
The last piece of tonight’s puzzle was comedian Jeff Lang, who while not particularly funny, did emcee the whole event quite well. A few of his jokes elicited chuckles from the crowd, but I thought he missed a chance at the best punchline of the night when he claimed that unlike most comedians he didn’t make jokes about not getting enough sex, saying “it’s never been a problem for me.” To me “because it’s not funny” would have been a much better answer. In fact, it was Jentri who got the biggest laugh of the night with a Jeremiah Nelson joke, “Did you hear about the guy who wrote a book on penguins?” “He should have used paper.”
Ba-dum bum. Thank you goodnight.