Al & Dave in Carlton, Oregon, 25.07.2009


On Saturday evening, Al Stewart & Dave Nachmanoff performed at Cana's Feast Winery in Carlton, Oregon, way out in the middle of nowhere southeast of Portland. Cana's Feast is not far from Lemelson Vineyards, where they played in 2007. Only 200 tickets were available for this event, and it was sold out. It would have been difficult for this location to handle much more than that, being rather small and right next to some residential developments, but it was very pleasant and nicely conducive to a pleasant evening of acoustic music.
Dave had done a house concert in Seattle the night before, and unusually, his wife Jen and two children were with him on this trip, and on Saturday morning they drove down from Seattle to stay with an old friend who lives in Portland. I was planning to get to the winery at about 5:30 to set up merchandise for the 6:30 show, but it turned out that Dave needed a ride there. His wife had decided that she and the childlen weren't up to spending a day in the hot sun at the winery, and having just driven from Seattle, it would been awfully hard on Dave to undertake the hour-plus drive from his friend's home to the winery and then be ready to perform. So, on very short notice, I rearranged my day so that I could drive him out there in time for soundcheck. I picked him up at his friend's home at about 1:30, and off we went.

I was thankful that the space for merchandise sales provided by the winery was under the large canopy they had set up for their sales of wine and bottled water. It was HOT!! The gates were opened by 4:00 for the planned 6:30 start time, and I marvelled at the hardy souls who arrived early and sat in the blazing sun, thankful for the shade and the moisture from the misting device that they had set up on one side of the canopy. The folks from Cana's Feast just could not have been more accommodating -- not only do they make wine that Al really likes, they just could not have been a nicer bunch of people.

The lawn area was small enough and the canopy situated such that I had a great view of the show from the merch table. The stage they had set up was a bit on the small side, but the sound was terrific, clear and flawless, easily the best I have experienced at any of these winery shows. It's just the reality of the situation that these kinds of show are put on by people with little or no experience in staging concerts (I think this is the first time this winery has ever done it), so it's down to whether or not they get hold of a good sound person, and in this case they got a fellow really knew what he was doing.

Dave:

MIDNIGHT SEA
KINDRED SPIRITS
THE LOYALIST


Al & Dave:

ANGRY BIRD
Al described this as being about "neo-Trottskyite radical students in London in 1969 who lived with their mothers!"
A CHILD'S VIEW OF THE EISENHOWER YEARS
BROADWAY HOTEL
ON THE BORDER

Al noted that this song had been a Top 10 hit in Spain. Someone from the audience called out something about Franco, and Al talked about how of all of the dictators of the 30s, only Franco had survived into the 70s, and that his recent passing was probably one reason why the song had been such a hit in Spain.
NIGHT TRAIN TO MUNICH
CAROL (request)
TIME PASSAGES (request)
Al joked about how they usually ignore requests from the audience, but on this occasion they were feeling very pliable and open to doing whatever people wanted to hear. They broke for an intermission that ended up lasting a good 40 minutes or so before the second set commenced.

Dave:

LUCKY
REAL GOOD THING

Dave said beafore the show that he wanted to keep his set list on the light side given the setting, and so I suggested this song on the grounds that the crowd for a relatively costly show at a winery ($45 tickets) would likely consist of a lot of well-established couples who might appreciate this song. Well, I was right! Dave got the crowd clapping on the 2nd & 4th beats and singing the echoing part ("that's a good thing"), and back by the canopy, a young couple with a very new baby were dancing to it -- very touching sight.
WITHOUT A COMPASS

Al & Dave:

The second set began with an improvised song about the winery!

"I've travelled near, I've travelled far
Looking for the perfect pinot noir
I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it
Something to bring out the beast
Give me Cana's Feast!

"It makes me sad, it makes me rad
Some wines I've had have been really, really bad
I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it
Something to bring out the beast
Give me Cana's Feast!"

HOUSE OF CLOCKS
KATHERINE OF OREGON
MIDAS SHADOW
GINA IN THE KINGS ROAD

Followed by a discussion of 60s London and how Al liked the late Brian Jones because Jones had let Al play his guitar and was nice to him, unlike a certain other member of the Rolling Stones ("Sir Mick," said Dave). He then went on to declare that Lieber & Stoller and Lennon & McCartney were the two most important songwriting teams of the century. He recommended the book "Hound Dog: The Leiber and Stoller Autobiography" by Jerry Lieber and went on at some length about them and how there never would have been a Lennon & McCartney if it hadn't been for Lieber & Stoller.
SOHO (NEEDLESS TO SAY) (request)
FLYING SORCERY (request)
Two or three couples from the rear of the lawn near the canopy got up and started dancing to this song! One couple was being either photographed or video'd by their friend.
YEAR OF THE CAT
END OF THE DAY


Another great Al show. This afternoon, we're off to Dave's house concert!

Mark
www.charismalabel.com