Opener Brownbird Rubdy Relic a Mexican New Yorker , mistaken for a Japanese by misinformed reviewers with a pencheant for Indian Hair Oil and Curries , amazed the crowd with a great percussive guitar display , althoug possibly a little over heavy on the kazoo!!. Still he was so good I bought hit album and he provoked thunderous applause from the crowd. An excellent opened to the gig , which incidentally was almost sold out though entirely seated!! Here he is:
CW Stoneking then took the stage with his Primitive Horn Orchetra looking and sounding like some 30s thowback Jazz Blues artists occupying that odd landscape somewhere between Cab Calloway and Tom Waits. Stoneking is Australian , and his albums are notoriously difficult to get hold of so I had no hesitation snapping up a couple that were on sale in the foyer.
The gig was punctuated by his stories which were immensly entertaing , before he launched into his songs on his (according to the stories) Trinidadian Banjo and 80 Year Old guitar. With a voice than could strip wallpaper while still being distinct and clear almost every song was called something Blues , apart from "Jungle Lullaby" , the other motif was the Jungle , for me the highlight was the story how he worked Jimm Rodges' yodelling into a jungle blues song resulting in the hilarious "Talking Lion Blues", which he can be seen performing live below:
Stoneking is a definite must see and this is the video that finally persuaded me of the guy's genius: