Elijah Wald on HAH—Trio Opening for Del Rey, Steve James at JD’s

If you were listening Saturday, you heard Elijah and Sandrine Sheon perform a couple of old-timey tunes with clarinet (reminiscent of The Hoosier Hotshots) and Elijah’s masterful finger-picking.  Elijah also brought by a Steve James recording of “The Hadacol Boogie” (anyone remember Hadacal?  anyone actually drink it?), and a couple of CDs of New Mexican (the state) honky-tonk country, where Elijah is doing research—not a bad gig, studying country music in bars.

Anyway, the Elijah Wald Trio (with Sandrine and washtub-bass player Robbie Phillips) is opening for Del Rey and Steve James tomorrow night at Johnny D’s.  The music isn’t strictly country—more at the interstices of country/hillbilly, old-timey, blues, jazz, and whatnot from back in the early decades of the 20th century.  Here’s Elijah’s description, for those of you not on his mailing list:

Dear friends and acquaintances:
Please forgive the reminder: Steve and Del are great and I’m doing my best to help them get a good audience tomorrow (plus we’d like some folks there ourselves):

Sandrine, Robbie and I will be doing a guest set at 7:30.
All at Johnny D’s in Somerville on Wednesday, April 10.
$10 cover.

I’ll be playing my usual mix of blues, pop, folk, and Caribbean stuff, with Sandrine on clarinet and my compadre Washtub Robbie Phillips on his one-string wombat bass.

Steve James and Del Rey are both terrific individually, and even better together, and I don’t think they’ve ever done their double act in the Boston Area…so this is a rare opportunity. They are really funny and high-energy, as well as being virtuosi on multiple instruments.

Steve is my favorite slide guitarist, a terrific singer, a brilliant songwriter, one of the living masters of blues mandolin, and maybe the foremost expert on old-time hillbilly fingerpicking styles.

Del is a monster guitarist, the foremost expert on Memphis Minnie, a fine singer, a composer of astonishing instrumentals, and the unquestioned queen of resonator ukulele.

If you want a taste, here’s Del doing Memphis Minnie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-ht4FWAxio
Here’s a ragtime ukulele piece: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wxk3N7GOgX4

Here’s Steve doing one of my favorite Charlie Poole songs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wX1kom2fPVM
Here’s a blues mandolin song, one of his own, “Saturday Night in Jail”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAu6GFDY2tg
And here he is full-throttle storytelling on his “Change”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNyZL2IYoHU

All the best, and hope to see you there,
Elijah

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