Saturday, February 28, 2009

Confronting Mark Erelli

When I attend a concert, I like to be prepared. Often it's not necessary: I'm attending because I'm already a fan. If the singer has a new CD he or she's touring to promote, I try hard to acquire it in advance and familiarize myself with what will be sung. That makes the experience much more enjoyable for me.

Tonight, however, I'm attending a concert blind—and it's to hear a singer who has FOUR CDs in my collection. How does this happen?

First of all, the singer is Mark Erelli. He records for a Massachusetts-based label (Signature Sounds) and, since I read reviews pretty religiously, I've known his name for awhile. He's a folk singer whose most notable achievements up till now it seems are: 1) over the course of the past eight years this songwriter in his early 30s has released six albums' worth of work and 2) he toured with Lori McKenna who opened for Faith Hill (since the latter had recorded many of the former's songs on her last work.)

Erelli obviously has the folksinging chops, so he was on my radar as I cruised my used music stores and, as luck would have it, his CDs were priced just right enough for me to take the chance. But I didn't listen to them after taking them home. This happens occasionally with me—thankfully, it's not a chronic problem, but some CDs wind up like those stacks of books you might have at your bedside.

But then opportunity knocked—my wife and I have been trying to establish a concert date with a friend and I floated Erelli's appearance before this person and got a "yes." So it's off to the historic folk club Passim I go this eve.

I think I'll be nerdy and bring my CDs along. As Erelli plays a song that makes an impression, I'll look to see if I own it. Odds are that I will although—doggone it—I don't have his latest from which he'll probably glean much of his material.

Anyway, I'm excited to be going out to one of my favorite clubs in Boston. Stay tuned for full report.

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