Monday, March 15, 2010

JIMMY WEBB at Blue Rock Artist Ranch and Studio 3-11-10

What can you say? Got to see a songwriter who really shaped my love of music. When I was a kid, it was The Beatles along with Jimmy Webb's songs. The Beatles got the rock side going, of course. But the singer/songwriter music, long before Carole King, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor or Bob Dylan, for me it was Glen Campbell singing "By The Time I Get To Phoenix."
Not only did I get to see him but in a small, intimate, beautiful room with perfect sound. Not sure how many times I had to pinch myself.
This was my first visit to Blue Rock. It is about 40 miles south of Austin, out in the Hill Country. It is a recording studio but once a month they hold a concert. They don't sell tickets. It's pretty much word of mouth. I'd always find out about their shows a day late, as in already sold out. I believe it holds around 100 people. I'd already missed out on Ruthie Foster and Shawn Colvin! So, this one for March came up as "Mystery Guest." You had to take a chance, reserve your seats and find out later who the artist would be. When I got the email about a month ago saying it was Jimmy Webb, well, I must have stared at that for minutes. You could've knocked me over with a feather.
As for the concert, he came out, sat down at a beautiful grand piano and proceeded to play all of the songs and tell so many memorable stories about the songs and his life. Seriously, it was an incredible night. He is very warm, funny, really knows how to tell a tale. We got to hear about several trips with Richard Harris traveling through Ireland, raising hell. He spoke of his admiration for Glen Campbell. Said he's the most natural musician he's ever run across. That is some high praise. Along with Glen, he talked about Frank Sinatra as the other performer who really launched his career because they always gave public credit as to whose songs they were singing. I think Jimmy was 17 years old when he wrote "Didn't We" and was summoned to the house of Frank. Can you imagine? These were the kind of stories we got to hear about.
As for the music, we got it all: "Highwayman" "By The Time I Get To Phoenix" "Wichita Lineman" "MacArthur Park" "Galveston" "Didn't We" "Up, Up and Away," need I go on?
If I live to be 120 and don't know my own name, I believe I'll remember this night.
$35 ticket price. Worth 10 times that for me.

1 comment:

Caron Bey said...

Hi Deb,

I am the house manager @ Blue Rock. Love this post and want to get in touch w/ you ASAP.
Please email me.

Thanks. So glad you got see Jimmy Webb. He was sensational!