Greg Brown

Ya know, we’ve had nary a drop of rain this summer and on the one day I have tickets to an outdoor concert, well, the skies opened up. Relatively speaking. I’ve been a Greg Brown fan forever. Well, at least since his early appearances on Prairie Home Companion. The first time I saw him live was on the hillside of the Hyland Hills ski area in Bloomington, Minnesota. That was a great day–the relatively new Redhouse Records label featured a daylong, free concert of their artists. John Gorka, the Chenille Sisters, Claudia Schmidt.

I hate to say this, but this concert, featuring the wondrous Bo Ramsey on guitar, wasn’t all that great. It didn’t feel like there was much energy, especially compared to the last time I saw him (May 2003 at the, well, geez, now I’m blanking at the name of the venue near Portland’s Old Town section…). I love hearing how he rearranges and recasts old songs, and there were a few of those (If I had Known, China, Lullaby, Out in the Country…). But the whole performance came off as monochromatic. Nonetheless, I’ll go see him perform every chance I get.

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