Television played their seminal album Marquee Moon last summer at Bergenfest, it was a lot of fun. It was great seeing them and they were still a great band. They seemed to enjoy themselves immensely on stage. Verlaine is regarded by many as one of the most talented performers of the early post punk era. His poetic lyrics, coupled with his accomplished and original guitar playing, are highly influential and widely praised in the music media. He and Television bandmate Richard Lloyd are known as one of rock’s most acclaimed and inventive guitar duos. His work with guitarist Jimmy Rip in Television since 2007 is also incredibly good.
Tom Verlaine is a legend!
He is also part of the Million Dollar Bashers, a supergroup also featuring Sonic Youth musicians Lee Ranaldo and Steve Shelley, Wilco guitarist Nels Cline, Bob Dylan bassist Tony Garnier, guitarist Smokey Hormel and keyboardist John Medeski. Their work appears on the original soundtrack to I’m Not There, a biographical film “freely” reflecting the life of Bob Dylan.
We had read the “Cinderella story” about singer/songwriter Doug Seegers. How he was discovered, or should I say re-discovered. He was homeless and living on the street. Musician Aaron Espe filmed him singing and put it on the web, then after a couple of years some people in Sweden took notice, and they had Seeger on a TV-show and had a number one iTunes hit. Yeah, it is pretty amazing!
There are many more interesting aspects of his story and it has been brilliantly told in the Tennessean. A tale mirroring a country song.
I will not say that we were sceptic, but could he really be as good as the story says?
Yes, he could. He was the best act at Bergenfest on the 5th day.
He mixed classic country cover songs with his own compositions, and they were equally good! Hank Wiliams, Dan Penn/Gram Parsons, Hal Ketchum and Doug Seegers. The highlight for me was a lovely and sad ballad about the outsiders, the geeks and misfits (and all getting perfect wings in heaven), I don’t know if it was his own song or a cover (it is not on his new album), but it had a profound impact on everybody in the audience. If anybody know what the song is called, please tell us in the commentaries. Thanks to Vibeke Sjøvold for telling us which song it was, Mark Wills’s Don’t laugh at me.
Jerry Miller was playing electric guitar with Seegers and he was brilliant.
A heart warming story, a fine singer and a great songwriter.
The headliner on the second day was of course, Robert Plant and his band The Sensational Space shifters. Plant revisited surprisingly many songs from the Led Zeppelin catalog (and an appreciative audience loved it) plus some new songs and tunes from his post-Zeppelin career. The emphasis was on blues put in a historic context, very modern sounding but also very true to it’s roots. He drew the lines from England to Memphis to Africa. This wasn’t a dry history lesson, but a joyful celebration of the blues artform.