The only thing that could have made this show better would be people shutting the fuck up, already.
Opener: The Pan Handles
These local musicians were only a trio (bongo, violin, acoustic guitar) on this night, instead of the quintet I saw at Treefort earlier this year, but they sounded pretty good. PS – props to Jeffrey and his opener for leaving the crown to glow in all of its tacky glory.
Honestly, they mostly served as a backdrop for some respectfully quiet conversation with a friend of mine, but our ears did perk up when one of the two singers told us that she had written a song called Beaverdick, about an old trapper in the Owyhees back in the early 20th century. With a name like that, you cant go wrong – and sure enough, it was a solid tune. Funny, it was a long enough song that when it was over and she again mentioned the title, we had forgotten and chuckled again like school kids. They also did a Jackson Browne cover that I couldn’t place (sorry, nobody is perfect).
Headliner: Jeffrey Martin
Sometimes you luck into one, and that was the case here. A friend found out about this talented singer/songwriter from Oregon earlier this year and when this show was announced was kind enough to share with me. And boy am I glad he did – Jeffrey’s newest album, One Go Around, is a stellar dose of sad-bastard music that I thoroughly enjoy. Apparently other people were in the loop, or maybe just out for some drinks on Thanksgiving Eve. Either way, there were roughly 150 people in attendance, which was far more than I anticipated.
Unfortunately, only about half of the onlookers were actually paying attention to Jeffrey – the other half were hooting, hollering, telling loud drunk stories, and generally being disrespectful douchebags. Folks, I am far from a concert rookie, or uptight about people having a good time, but this was borderline ridiculous.
To Jeffrey’s credit, he soldiered on and never appeared annoyed or said a word about the rudeness, instead playing beautiful music for 80 minutes and providing surprisingly funny between-song banter. He seemed genuinely pleased to be playing the room and was clearly happy that this was his last stop on the way back home.
Jeffrey shared with us that Thanksgiving is his favorite holiday, his admiration (sort of) for Cortez, his true and deep love of bowling, and his desire to score some weed if anyone had any to spare. He also shared a quick story about his first job, working at a Little Caesars – a job he was fired from when he walked in on his supervisor and another employee fornicating in a walk-in cooler. Ah, high school jobs!
How was the music, you ask? Well, friend-o, it was marvelous. Sparse, sure – just one man and an acoustic guitar. Sad, absolutely – this is thoughtful and occasionally tear-jerker material. One thing it definitely was – entertaining. This guy should be a star and if he keeps it up, his time is coming. His set consisted of mostly original material, and “Man”, “Billy Burroughs”, “Golden Thread”, and “Sad Blue Eyes” were highlights. That latter song is my favorite of his and is one worth checking out right now, folks.
What are you doing? Go check it out!
Is that the same picture, you are thinking? No, its not – c’mon now!
We got a couple of covers, my favorite was his take on Dylan’s “Buckets of Rain”, which Jeffrey introduced by saying “I want to play you the greatest love song of all time”. His stirring and intense “Coal Fire” served as a wonderful end to an evening of mellow but heavy music. Check this guy out the next time you get a chance, and go listen to his One Go Around. Thank me later.
The Same Place
Unknown (song about Cortez)
Thief and a Liar
Grower of Trees
Thrift Store Dress
What We’re Marching Toward
Build a Home
Sad Blue Eyes
Unknown (new unreleased song)
Buckets of Rain (Bob Dylan cover)
Spotify setlist playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4qAlmSyEuZHkOkOaAAh3c5?si=4U2AdC0fS5qezG8u3PPC4w