Sunday, November 27, 2011

Josh Ritter at Variety Playhouse, 11/18; Kaki King at The Loft, 11/19

The weekend before Thanksgiving was full of music for me, as every good weekend should be. Friday night Josh Ritter returned to Atlanta's Variety Playhouse on his "mostly solo, mostly acoustic" tour. Zack Hickman, the bassist in the Royal City Band, with which Josh regularly tours, played upright and provided harmony on about half of the tunes; Sarah Harmer, from Kingston, Ontario, was a solid opener and also joined Josh for a song during the encore. It was a seated show, which is unusual for what I normally see at Variety, but it actually suited the vibe of the evening quite nicely.

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Here's the stellar set list with links to some guy's YouTube videos of the new tunes Josh played, the titles of which I'm totally guessing on. They're all pretty awesome.

  1. Come and Find Me
  2. Rumors
  3. Me & Jiggs
  4. Wolves
  5. Long Shadows
  6. Southern Pacifica
  7. The Temptation of Adam
  8. Rattling Locks
  9. Harrisburg
  10. Girl in the War
  11. [New Lover Now]
  12. You Don't Make it Easy Babe
  13. [Sarah -- a song inspired by Sarah Palin]
  14. Galahad
  15. Lantern
  16. Good Man
  17. Best for the Best
  18. [Untitled new song]
  19. Monster Ballads
  20. Kathleen
  21. To the Dogs or Whoever
  22. Change of Time

  23. Bone of Song
  24. Hard Times Come No More (with Sarah Harmer)
  25. Snow is Gone
Josh Ritter gets better and better every time I see him. He's someone I'd recommend anybody who loves music go see, because he is so good at what he does and always so happy to be doing it. He hinted that he'd be back on the road in the spring, so I've got my fingers crossed for another Atlanta stop.

***

ON SATURDAY night, Atlanta native, Kaki King, had a show at The Loft at Center Stage, her first hometown gig in quite some time. (Appropriately, the first song we heard over the sound system upon entering the venue was a Josh Ritter tune.) If you don't know of her, she's an innovative, mind-blowing guitarist. Among many other projects, she worked on scoring for the movie Into the Wild, a.k.a. was nominated for a Golden Globe along with Eddie Vedder. Yeah. She has also recorded and toured with the Foo Fighters, was a hand-double in the movie August Rush and has a bunch of awesome records out.

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She brought along seven different guitars -- many custom made for her -- and played them all, explaining what distinguished each of them as she went along. It was a super mellow show, but a ton of fun. CNN was there filming for an upcoming music segment; I'll try to remember to post a link when it airs. In the meantime, look Kaki up if she's new to you. She lends Atlanta some serious music cred.