Thursday, April 24, 2008

American Music Club at the Iron Horse

Lucy and I decided at the last minute to head to Northampton to see American Music Club last night, and the babysitting tag team of Monica and my sister Patty made it possible.

Since I heard the album California 20 years ago, I've been a huge fan of Mark Eitzel's brooding, moody, romantic, confessional, loosely structured songs. The band produced half a dozen complex, sometimes hard to fathom, but always interesting albums before they broke up, and Eitzel released an equal number of solo albums.

They got together again a few years ago and produced Love Songs for Patriots, and this year released Golden Years both of which recalled the fire of the earlier albums tempered by time passed.

Last night the band, which now only includes Eitzel and Vudi from the original combo, sounded as powerful as ever. Eitzel sings with passion in a rock crooner style which reaches deep to unleash the demons. As Lucy said, he even sings the old songs as if they were brand new. Vudi's exotic solos, couple with Eitzel's intriguing guitar style mixed rock with roots and exotica. The show was sublime, and the audience lapped it up.

Eitzel joked that the band had changed its name to Enduring Freedoms, with a slogan of "hot love" shouted with a pumped fist. He said, "You know, "enduring freedoms?" There aren't any left." The band played songs from throughout their careers, including several from the new album, and two of my favorites from California, "Western Sky" and "Blue and Grey Shirt."

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