Monday, September 03, 2018

Concert Review: Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Dave Alvin and Jon Langford at Knuckleheads

My date threatened to run off with Jimmie Dale Gilmore at Knuckleheads on Saturday.  I understood her impulse.  The Texan is an even groovier variant of Willie Nelson.  And at 73, Gilmore’s voice remains celestial.  He’s touring with Dave Alvin in support of their collaborative album Downey to Lubbock(Here’s the title track.).  They’re backed by a band of ringers including Lisa Pankratz.

Alvin’s frenzied guitar solos and the surprising jam-based segues were pleasing, but Gilmore was the main attraction.  His delivery on Woody Guthrie’s “Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)” was free of the sanctimony that often spoils the song.  And hearing Gilmore warble “Tonight I Think I’m Gonna Go Downtown” was worth the $70 I paid at the door.

Jon Langford opened the show.  After noting my enthusiasm for the man who described he and his accompanist John Szymanski as “sad old guys playing acoustic guitars,” a few members of the audience of about 200 asked me about Langford.  I told them that his band the Mekons was the best rock group of ‘80s.  Langford seemed more inclined to abscond with my date than Gilmore.  I’m relieved that she didn’t ”Treat Me Like a Saturday Night”.

(Original image of Jimmie Dale Gilmore by There Stands the Glass.)

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