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Willy Porter & Jeff Lang

Location: Rams Head Tavern in Annapolis, MD

Got there early enough to have dinner without fear of missing any of the show. Jeff Lang opened. He's a skilled guitar player from Australia, and even played half his songs on a slide guitar. His singing voice at times reminded me of the lead singer of Marcy Playground. I think I'll have to find some more of his stuff.

Willy Porter, though, really stole the show. His guitar wasn't quite hooked up right, so he started playing a made-up song for a sound check. Eventually the sound guy fixed it and he kept right on going. He's good at improvisation; he also made a song using topic suggestions from the audience ("Titanic", "Homer Simpson", and "chicken & the egg") and a general melody. Turned into a listenable tune, too. But the best part was that he brought TWO guitars this time. The magic of that 12-string meant that he could play Roadbone, a speedy number that's part homage to Leo Kottke, another talented guitar player. And what an AMAZING song it is, too. Even more amazing to watch him do it. He also played Jesus on the Grill, a song inspired by a lit-up cross on the front of a Peterbilt truck. From what he said, he'd been skipping it lately, claiming it was bad luck. I think this was a good night to unjinx it, though it took a little coaxing from the audience.

I'd gush more, but I'll spare you the fanboy-ishness. He has a new album coming out July 30th, though two of the songs I know I heard the last time I saw him, Breathe and Unconditional. Good show. He'll be in Vienna, VA tomorrow, apparently.

As for me, I will be in DC tomorrow morning (BLEAH!). And I just found out DaVinci's Notebook will be at the Rams Head in late July. As their poster claims: "A Cappella That Doesn't Suck".

- Pookah

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