Sunday, September 22, 2002

Rock Shows of Note XLII
After dinner, Elizabeth, Wheeler and I crossed the street to Poe's Pub, which isn't really a pub -- or connected to Edgar Allan Poe -- to see Page Wilson with Reckless Abandon. I wish I'd had a chance to talk to Wilson, because, as a local radio DJ who specializes in folk, country, bluegrass, the blues, and other roots music -- and who's been involved in the local music scene for almost 20 years -- Wilson knows a lot about the local music and media scenes. Back in the mid-'80s, he published a fanzine-turned-newspaper called Out o' the Blue Review that has since evolved into a radio show -- first on a local commercial station and now on public radio.

Last night, he played with a five-piece band featuring an upright bass player with a wonderful baritone voice, a second guitarist, a younger (by comparison) fiddle player, and a mandolin player who could've been amplified more. There wasn't a dedicated percussionist, and the band didn't need one. Their stage presence was energetic and friendly, and they opened their first set with "Moonlight Midnight," a standard that -- eerily enough -- I last heard while in Nashville, Tennessee, visiting another Company of Friends coordinator who wanted to treat me to local music. And treat Jody did.

We arrived just before Wilson's show, and while I recommend you get to Poe's before shows start, I also suggest that you sit further forward toward the stage. As it was, as the place filled up around 11 p.m., folks began to stand in front of us, and the club -- which has featured Angry Johnny and the Killbillies, a band that has Boston ties -- quickly filled to standing room only. We left just before the band's second set, and I was struck by the wait staff's friendliness, the door man's sense of humor, and the audience's mixed makeup. Fun, fun, fun.

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