A few quick thoughts on last night’s sold out show:
– Who is he even comparable to? Harry Nilsson seems to be his closest kin: whimsical, hyper-melodic, omnipresent but largely unknown.
– The only guy in the room that was more thrilled with Joe Vick (bass) and Dave Rogers (drums) than me was ol’ Bob himself. Ditto when Dr. Barry McVinney (sax, brilliant flute on “Baltimore Oriole”), Brandi Herbert (guitar) and Jack Pritchett (percussion) joined for the second set.
– I had no idea Jamie Cullum covered “But For Now”. Ditto Diana Krall and “Devil May Care.”
– Is Dorough the first—dare I say, here in 2011—musical hipster to sprout out of Arkansas?
– Even at 87, the man’s idiosyncracies—physical, facial and musical—were in full, animated effect. He’s still a refreshingly warm (necessary, even) juxtaposition to steely-eyed, standoffish popular jazz ego. His songs and interpretations are pure joyous, toothy exuberance. Maybe it’s that humble Arkansas background of his.
– It would have been great to hear “Figure Eight” and “I’m Beginning to See the Light”, but the night’s setlist was an stellar, heavy on his two most well-known albums (“Devil May Care” and “Just About Everything”) and “Electricity” is about as much of a deep cut as you can pull from “Schoolhouse Rock!”
– If someone told me beforehand that “Conjunction Junction” would make me well up, I’d have called them crazy. And if anyone in the room didn’t get choked up during the last song, “We’ll Be Together Again,” they’re a straight-up sociopath and should be approached with caution.
That’s about it. Like everyone else in the room, I was rapt. Too rapt in my favorite show I’ve seen in recent memory to worry about being anything other than a smiling dope reveling in the presence of one of his musical heroes, much less a stankin’ music writer.
Nothing Like You/Three is a Magic Number/Devil May Care/But For Now/I’ve Got Just About Everything/The Winds of Heaven/I’ve Got a Small Day Tomorrow/Wonderful Night at the Water Hole/Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head/Lazy Afternoon/Conjunction Junction
Right on My Way Home/Moon River/I Get the Neck of the Chicken/Yardbird Suite/Music Makers/This is Always/Baltimore Oriole/Straight Up/Electricity/We’ll Be Together Again