-- Tim C. Davis
Bless His Heart Americana pioneer James Talley played the Neighborhood Theatre on Friday, to a small but enthusiastic crowd (mostly due to opening act David Childers' rowdy band of friends and relatives). Childers played an acoustic set with guitarist Eric Lovell showcasing songs from his new album, Blessed In An Unusual Way, and warmed the crowd up nicely with his rough-hewn songcraft. At one point, Lovell looked around for his guitar slide, before turning to the audience to ask if anyone had a lighter. Knowing that the show must go on, I bravely tossed mine upon the stage. Lovell returned it after the song, scarred and beaten to all hell, but I figure it was good for the lighter's karma to have been used for something outside of lighting cigarettes and incense. Toward the end of the show, Childers' son Robert slyly entered through the curtains at the rear of the stage, nearly scaring the elder Childers witless when he began to rattle the drum kit. After Childers' set, Talley took the stage. "Y'all are small in number, but enthusiastic in your support," he said, though I'm not sure it he was being serious or was simply using reverse psychology. Talley's show was a beautiful showcase of his Willie Nelson-like voice and wizened songwriting -- it's no wonder he was a favorite of former First Lady Rosalyn Carter. Most assembled that night have likely at one point or another "lusted in our hearts" for a talent like Talley's. Except that most, in our mind's eye, would probably imagine more people in attendance. Yes, it seems it's truly a bad time to be a Democrat.
-- Tim C. Davis
Rock & Roll Jeopardy Last Friday well-known songwriter Walter Egan staged a comeback show of sorts at Puckett's Farm Equipment in Derita. Egan, who is probably known to most for penning the old tune "Magnet and Steel" and hanging around with the likes of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks back in the day, is actually celebrating the release of a brand new album, Apocalypso Now, which is being released by the locally based Gaff Music record label. As Egan casually made his way to the stage around 11:30pm, the small crowd on hand watched attentively while a few of the older fellas tried to persuade their honeys to dance floor by demonstrating their fancy foot moves. One couple, however, started a debate on whether or not Egan was a part of the group Steely Dan (which, by the way, consisted of Donald Fagen and Walter Becker). The conversation went a little something like this: "Walter Egan...he's one of the guys from Steely Dan, you know?" said Dick. "No dear, you're thinking about Donald Fagen," replied Jane. "Well yeah, Jane, it was Donald Fagen and Walter Egan!" exclaimed Dick. "Maybe you're right. I think it was Donald and a guy named Walter!" said Jane. I wasn't on hand after the show, but I did have to wonder if the couple would go home disappointed since it's not likely they ever heard "Reeling In the Years" or "Rikki Don't Lose That Number."
-- Lynn Farris