Tuesday, November 25, 2014

John K. Samson at The Good Will 2014

I was trying to recall the amount of times I have seen The Weakerthans/John K. Samson live in concert and just based on ticket stubs, I've seen The Weakerthans 10 times and JKS (& The Provincial Band) once. The venues have varied from the larger/medium-sized halls (Burton Cummings Theatre, Le Rendezvous, West End Cultural Centre) to bars (Pyramid, Royal Albert) and at the Winnipeg Folk Festival. I may have seen John and/or the band additional times, but none were as small and intimate as John K. Samson's show on Sunday night at The Good Will. This was the first time I've been to this somewhat new venue (opened officially last month) and I have to admit it isn't bad. The room is long and narrow which means good sight-lines and the music is well contained and directed nicely to the audience. It was perfect for a solo acoustic show, but I'm skeptical whether the sound will be half as good for a loud electric rock show. I'll have to check back later.

This is not meant to be a review of the show (Anthony's review for Exclaim is here), so I have nothing but good things to say about the show. John, of course played songs from his band, The Weakerthans, as well as his solo effort, Provincial, but the bonus for fans (especially for a taper) was two new songs, Fellow Traveller and Oldest Oak At Brookside. Promising and likable, it will be interesting to see if they appear on a project in the future. Hearing all these songs in their bare-bones versions really showcase Samson as a master lyricist and very competent musician. The solo acoustic format allows Samson to highlight the song, closer to poetry set to music, than in the full band format, powerful, but in a different way. It's been a while since I've seen John play and this was a real treat.

This Winnipeg solo show was a warm-up for an upcoming solo tour starting later this week, that will take Samson across the Atlantic to Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and the UK.

Unplugged! Not only is John hard to see, but he was also hard to hear.
The recording was recorded in the sweet spot, dead centre, near the back edge of the floor in front. The sound is near perfect, definitely one of the better sounding recordings I've done. Crowd noise wasn't an issue, though I did have a "singer" beside me that I tried to turn away from. I adjusted and lowered the levels during the second song, so you might want to turn up the volume after that one. It's always safer to set the levels lower than to have the sound distorted by heavy strumming and crowd clapping.
(Note: The last song (#19), Samson is at the edge of the stage, unplugged and off mic...turn it up!)

The Good Will

Winnipeg, MB
November 23, 2014

solo acoustic

Sony ECM-DS70P mic> Tascam DR-07> USB> 16 bit Wav>
Direct Wave MP3 splitter> FLAC> rar file

01. Heart Of The Continent
02. Plea From A Cat Named Virtute
03. Reconstruction Site
04. Letter In Icelandic From The Ninette San
05. When I Write My Master's Thesis
06. Elegy For Gump Worsley
07. Pamphleteer
08. Time's Arrow
09. Fellow Traveller (new song)
10. Oldest Oak At Brookside (new song)
11. Relative Surplus Value
12. Hospital Vespers
13. One Great City!
14. Aside
15. Left And Leaving

16. Tournament Of Hearts
17. Bigfoot
18. My Favourite Chords
19. Virtute The Cat Explains Her Departure (off-mic/unplugged)

JOHN K. SAMSON- 2014-11-23 The Goodwill, Winnipeg, MB FLAC. rar

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