Thursday, July 28, 2011
"Three Girls & Their Buddy" - Emmylou Harris, Shawn Colvin, Patty Griffin, Buddy Miller
...at the Greek Theatre in Griffith Park, Los Angeles, June 25, 2009
EIGHT REVIEWS, exclusive to the Guide
By Joel Okida:
It was a mild summer evening with some thin cloud cover that negated any star sightings. But that was okay because we had four of them right on stage.
Voices sparkling with varying degrees of twang and quiver, three sopranos and Buddy Miller's distinct and forceful delivery provided for an evening of defining Americana prose-like singing. I found Patty Griffin to be near transcendent in her songwriting and elocution of her evening's song selection. But then I can't find much fault in any of the performances.
Admittedly, I have been a Buddy Miller fan for a long time, both in his smart and stylish guitar playing but also his singing and songwriting. Truly an underrated performer outside of the folk/country/roots genre where he is known and well-respected. His "Shelter Me" and "All My Tears" etched into the night, counterpoint to the sweet vocals of the womanly takes on tales of woe.
Hey, Emmy Lou is the grand dame of iconic folk/no wig country music so what's not to love? The "Red Dirt Girl" is still singing pretty much in the same range she did 30 years ago so it's all good.
I was not a Shawn Colvin fan before, not because I didn't like her music, but because I just never really got around to listening to a lot of her book although she enjoyed many a hit in the genre several years ago. She was spot on when her turn came around and no slouch on guitar either.
But I think the youngster in the group at 45, Griffin, would win my honors for charismatic readings of her material. "Heavenly Day" and "Mary" really stood out and I also liked that deadpan novelty tune, which for lack of not knowing the unrecorded title, must be something like, "It's a Dud" (one of the two "love" songs that she's ever written, according to her).
It was a good night for music, made better by the good music they sent into that night.
By Ray Doyle:
[Note: Ray Doyle is a professional musician, guitar player, band leader and chief arranger for Wylie & The Wild West – Wylie Gustafson’s band. Wylie is, among other things, the voice of the Yahoo! Yodel.]
Some thoughts about 3 Girls and their Buddy...
I thought all the performances were strong...especially Buddy's! Considering what he has been through in the last six months I hardly expected his voice and energy to be so strong. I absolutely love his material and he pulled it off. I'm crazy about baritone guitar!
I've seen Emmylou many times and have never been disappointed.
I'm not familiar with Patty but thought she did a fine job. She did seem at times like the "junior partner" though.
Shawn blew me away. What a voice!
From where I was sitting it seemed that it took longer than I expected for the soundman to get the guitars right and the volume up. The video screens were a big disappointment. I assumed there was no operator, but a long way into the concert someone finally made a few amateurish moves.
I haven't been to the Greek in many years. I used to go frequently, especially in the late 60's and early 70's. (I remember seeing CSN&Y with Joni as their opening act two evenings in a row.) It's still my fave big-small venue.
The staff was professional and helpful. The parking can be a nightmare but I lucked out by getting there really early and nabbed a easy get-away space.
By Gary & Kathy Lynch:
"Three Girls & Their Buddy" (Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin, Shawn Colvin and Buddy Miller) was a wonderful evening of "songwriters in the round" at the Greek. It was a nice mixture of solo and group performances. The foursome's material was a combination of edgy and classic. Each of them added to the evening in their own special way. Highlights were Emmylou's timeless and classic voice, the counterpart of Patty's edgier material, Buddy's guitar prowess and Shawn's sweet ballads. The only distractions were the overuse of instrumental reverb and the presence of Emmylou's roadie who brought her guitar to her before each of her songs. With these exceptions, it was like being a fly on the wall of four really good friends during a living room jam.
By Arlene & Bill Kole:
Great seats and what a show! I loved it and cried a few times. All 3 of those girls have been a major influence in my life! I was listening to Emmy Lou when I was 15 and of course Shawn is my number 1. It was great hearing Patty as I saw her at the Strawberry Festival last summer and felt she might have been having a bad day as the show was just okay...last night she was amazing! My first time with Buddy Miller and loved him as well.
I hope you had a great time and made some nice connections. I look forward to hearing all about it. I will miss the LAWIM Happy Hour Hang as I am doing a Nashville style songwriters circle at O'Briens in Santa Monica...we need to all get together yes! dinner yes! at my house yes!
I'm off to an early morning gig...I have 5 gigs in the next 2 days...busy gal!
Hugs and a big muah!
By Renee Herman:
Oh my gosh, what an amazing show! Thank you so much for the chance to hear some of the greatest songwriters alive do their thang, and do it so well.
It was a gorgeous evening and the Greek Theater was the perfect setting. I'm a huge fan of all the writers, and to watch and hear them collaborate on some of my favorite songs was a treat I'll never forget. It was truly a magical evening.
There was such a breadth of talent and diversity among them, and they intertwined their unique voices and styles of songwriting with ease and beauty while providing unique glimpses into the backstage relationships that go down amongst fellow musicians. What a generous gift to have given away, I am so grateful for such a fantastic experience.
Thank you again!
Vocalist ~ Songwriter
By Donna Lynn Caskey:
Had a great time last night. Stream of conscious highlights/ thoughts...
Hooray for vocal harmonies. Buddy Miller all-around rocks -- but we knew that. Glad he is on the mend.
I'll never think of Patty Griffin's "Heavenly Day" the same now that I know it is about her dog. All I could picture was panting, smiley dog & blue skies!
I appreciated the performers' wit. I appreciated how the audience was listening intently to a series of less-than-upbeat songs & songs with gospel bent -- gives a gal like me hope!
Enjoyed songwriters-in-the-round format. Liked how Emmylou & Patty just put their ages out there, matter-of-fact, owning it. Not pretending to be permanently 23.
Shawn Colvin bowling a tambourine over to Emmylou toward the end...
Yum, yum, yum
By Geo. McCalip:
Four great performers under the stars with weather as close to perfect as you could ask for made for an evening that everyone there enjoyed.
Unfortunately almost half of the seats were closed off and covered in camo netting.
Maybe the promoters need to adjust the prices for the economy, fill all of the seats and make more money not just on ticket sales but on the concessions as well (don't tell me there is no profit in $8 beer or an $8 burger).
More people need to get out and discover the magic of live music - real music - the kind of music that is too good to hear on the radio (at least in LA).
(Nederlander Concerts replied: Regarding the comment from George, the venue was intentionally set up for a smaller audience to create a more intimate setting when the show was originally announced. We're doing that with several shows this year. Please let him know. Thanks.)
By Donna Scholl:
I want to thank you again for the opportunity to see Emmylou & company at the Greek Theatre last week. I had a friend visiting LA from out of town who had never been to the Greek before, so that made it an extra treat.
It turned out to be a perfect night: the music (and the evening) was stellar!
Thanks again. I am sure I will run into you at another music event soon!