Friday, November 11, 2005

Bruce Cockburn, Rusty Anderson: what's not to like?

Sorry about the extended delay in my posts. I truly have been busy and have actually not spent much time in front of my keyboard over the past week.

Where to start?
Last Friday, Nov. 4, I caught one of the best shows I've seen this year. Singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn appeared in a solo setting at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano. No openers or fill, just the Canadian great impressing a near-capacity crowd from 8:18 p.m. until 10:40 p.m. (there was a break from 9 p.m. to 9:27 p.m.).

But the show couldn't have been stronger. Bruce performed 21 selections, featuring instrumentals off his latest CD "Speechless," but also performing great songs such as "Wondering Where the Lions Are," "If a Tree Falls," "Put It in Your Heart" and "Pacing the Cage" (one of the most beautiful and tender songs I've ever heard) off his 1996 album "The Charity of Night." But then, I love just about everything he has written and recorded.

Although best known for penning probing songs that often tackle a mix of political and religious themes, Cockburn is an amazing guitar player and displayed those skills across his rewarding set at the Coach House. Highlights included the newly-penned "Elegy" and blues-flavored "King Kong Goes to Tallahassee."

He closed the show with a powerful and distinctive new song, titled "Mystery," that I hope is included on his next studio disc. A great night.

Also, check out my Orange Pop column in the Orange County Register today. It is a feature story on Rusty Anderson, who plays guitar in Paul McCartney's band. He is also an amazing guitarist, and his latest album, "Undressing Underwater," will appeal to fans of virtuoso guitar playing and good songwriting.

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