Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Colin Hay - Man at Work Gathering Mercury

I finally got to see Colin Hay perform in a small intimate theater in Clayton North Carolina outside of Raleigh, "where its all happening". The show was attended by a maximum capacity of around 700 people and Colin delivered a heartfelt, entertaining, often hilarious, poignant and full show. He took a short break and by himself put in over two hours of playing and storytelling. Roughly eight to eleven pm, and in that theater in Clayton it was a real slice of heaven. He's touring his ass off so check his schedule and do yourself a favor - go to one of his shows.

What impressed me the most after his general overall attitude and being (he took real time with his fans) was his guitar playing. Seriously his playing and chord progressions, finger-picking styling and melodies are more than accomplished. He's got it down kids.

Colin Hay should not be passed over by guitar enthusiasts who worship the Leo Kottke's, Michael Hedges, and Tommy Emmanuel's of the world. "Goodnight Romeo" is a track on his new album that could appear on anyone of theirs and you wouldn't guess it was Colin. Hey Colin you could do a whole album like that as far as I'm concerned. It's beyond beautiful.

I knew about Colin's voice and his wit and choice lyrics, his phrasing, melody and heart in his songwriting, but I never actually witnessed his guitar playing. It way surpassed my expectations. He was playing consistently sophisticated movements and flirted with some very beatle-esque arrangements. But it wasn't to impress with dexterity it served the musical thought and journey foremost.

My wife and I had a terrific and joyous time and took a few minutes to speak to a very tired musician at the end of a long night. But it is getting weird for Colin. Not only did someone pinch his personal affects back stage in Atlanta, glasses, wallet, credit cards, phone, etc., which is just lousy. But some strange little dude towards the end of a long line in Clayton asked him for a lock of his hair. When Colin laughed that off referencing his bald head the dude asked for nose hair.

My mind went right to sad then to voodoo wanna be. Something was off there maybe just a real loyal fan looking for something to hang onto in life. Regardless please people listen to his music, enjoy his show but show some restraint and lets respect some boundaries. Certainly stealing from the man is incredibly uncool. The hair thing is off the charts. Colin is trying to lay down something positive lets not run him off.

I had a ton of things I wanted to say to Colin but only expressed one. I'm taking this moment to say the rest; Colin thank you for coming back out on the road and reinvigorating your career, writing beautiful material, the fun stuff, the poignant stuff and the stuff from the heart. The world needs as many honest, positive forces as it can get right now.

We have loved you from the first time you came blaring across MTV back in the 80's and I think at this moment in time you are doing some of your best work ever. Smart, brilliant and honest that's my take on you as an artist and your music. Thank you for sharing all those wonderful stories and songs.

Get some rest, have some fun and don't work too hard. True art, true music stands the test of time. Good on you, good luck to you and god's speed.

New Album Review: Colin has a new album out called "Gathering Mercury". It is a very well produced disc with exceptional lyrics, wonderful melodies, excellent progressions, and the mix is outstanding. You can actually hear all the instruments interplay and all with Colin's unique, one of a kind voice and delivery. Its really quite good. Excellent accompaniment of piano, percussion and voice. It's very well put together at once stripped down but not without its well placed power chords. Like a wonderful meal the whole CD has just the right touch of this and that. Like a wonderful painting a dash of this color a dash of that vibrancy and we are enjoying it immensely.

In fact its time to get into your back catalog and I'll be shopping soon - thought you might like to read that.

In an often noisy, violent, unnecessarily hyper aggressive world this album and Colin Hay are an antidote - like half a million angles singing very clear.

Thank you Colin!

Very Sincerely,

Paul & Kris


Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this Paul. I'm at the airport waiting for a plane so I can see Colin in Orlando this evening! I too have been a fan of his music since the 80's. His new stuff is so fresh and showcases this man's incredible talent!

Quick question, was his new CD available at the show? Hoping so!

Betsy Bouchard (if you can reply about the CD question)

Paul Burke said...

Yes his cd is available - hope you enjoy the show....and tell him I said hi.. :)