Charlie Messing at Radio Bean pic by Tim Lewis
I had a great time seeing music at Radio Bean last Monday. It was an early work day so I had plenty of time to hang at home for a bit before making the lovely walk downtown. Charlie Messing was playing a show to benefit the Coalition for a Livable City and I arrived just before the 7pm start time. The room was pretty full when he got up to sing and play acoustic guitar. I think he played one or two of his own songs, which I somehow had not realized existed and will have to check into, but most of the set was covers of older songs that I had not heard. He has a deep rich voice and his guitar playing looks complicated and sounds simple. I’d seen him play a song or two now and then, and saw his experimental band once, but had never had a chance to listen to him sing and play for a full hour. I’m really glad I was there. He played a song about moving day. He played a song about long John blues. Johnson City Blues was fun and so was the spooky Tom Waits song Yesterday Is Here. The Dee Clark song about friends was a bit more rocking as was Dylan’s Absolutely Sweet Marie. His version of Fats Domino’s I’m Ready was pretty great. I missed the name of the next Dylan song but the refrain of “all of us fill our lives with things we don’t need” rang true. The story of how we in the north refer to a small town as east bumfuck whereas people in the south would call it Ditty Wah Ditty was a fun intro to the Bo Diddley song. Michael Hurley’s Eyes Eyes was a favorite of Johnnie Day Durand, John Townsend and the rest of the room. An original song about birds gotta whistle and corns gotta grow was nice. At this point the next performer had not arrived so he kept on playing. Richard Thompson’s Al Bowly’s In Heaven was cool and had a great story before it. I missed the name of the jump band song that followed but it was fun. He played a couple more as the next act got in and settled. The song about reefer and beer was fun and went over well. He closed with a song from the 1920’s that was about being in dreams. It was a very fun, and informative set.
Joe Adler took the stage with his card deck acoustic guitar and was joined by Tucker Hansen on violin. Joe’s playing is smooth and strong and the violin gave the sound a nice flow. Joe’s voice is deep and rich and the show was a pleasure from first note to last. I did not know most of the songs they played at the beginning of the show but really liked them. The fourth song of the set was a great version of Tom Waits Jockey Full Of Bourbon and in the fifth slot they filled me with joy when Old Mary rocked the room. They played a couple more cool songs then did a fun cover of Atlantic City. From there they went into a few of Joe’s magnificent songs from his solo album. Brothers And Sisters made my heart soar like it always does and The Mime just rocked hard. Spit ‘N Fire Blues jammed hard then they closed with Tom Waits House Where Nobody Lives.
I said a coupe of quick goodbyes then headed out for the happy walk home.
Joe Adler and Tucker Hansen at Radio Bean pic by Tim Lewis