Monday, February 23, 2009

3 Girls And NO Buddy

March 3rd will see the release of Buddy & Julie Miller's "Written In Chalk," a record that has been on repeat in my household for about two weeks now. A full review will come, but I will say this now, it was the brilliance of this record that prompted me to buy tickets for "3 Girls & Their Buddy," a concert at the Beacon Theatre this past Friday evening featuring Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin, Shawn Colvin, and of course, Buddy Miller. I had seen each of the "girls" more than a half dozen times, but I had never seen Buddy Miller, a man whose guitar playing, solo records and production work has impressed me for years. I was going more for Buddy.

As I approached the Beacon Theatre, I noticed the marquee- "THREE GIRLS, 8:00, SOLD OUT!" "That's lame," I thought. Well, not really lame. Accurate, is more like it.

Now I am well aware who the stars of the show are, but that wasn't enough at first, to quell my disappointment upon hearing as soon as the lights went down, that there would be NO Buddy. Buddy had taken ill. I was about ready to pull a Ralph Kramden and shout out, "Why does this always hap to havven (sic) to me?" But I resisted and witnessed a fantastic, very loose and and very sweet show.

The girls each had guitars, stools doubling as tables for their eyeglasses, lyric sheets, and tea, and a half dozen or so songs that they would sing either alone or with the other two helping out mostly with harmony, but occasionally with percussion.

The 90 plus minute show included songs from each of their most recent releases, one or two from the upcoming Buddy produced Patty record, some choice covers by the likes of John Lennon, Tom Waits, Lefty Frizzell, and Bob Dylan, and some incredibly entertaining between song banter. (I don't think there was tea in Emmylou's tea cup.)

Steve Earle & Alison Moorer were a few rows in front of me, and I had fingers crossed on both hands, hoping either or both would fill the (smaller in retrospect) hole left by Buddy Miller's absence. That did not happen and that was okay. Three Girls and No Buddy was more than 75% amazing.


Thanks to "Dave" for pointing this out to me, just minutes after posting:

Nashville's most celebrated singers, songwriters, guitarists, recording artists and producers -- reportedly suffered a heart attack in Baltimore, Md., on Friday, Feb. 20. He was on tour with Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin and Shawn Colvin; the tour is dubbed "3 Girls And Their Buddy."

Miller, 56, was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, and he underwent a triple-bypass heart surgery. The surgery was successful, and Miller will likely be recovering in Baltimore for several weeks.


Dave said...

Thanks for the great review, Sal. I'm really looking forward to the new B&J album. (Is there a street date for Patty's record?)

"Taken ill" is a bit of an understatement, though, as Buddy had triple bypass surgery last week. Story here:

Meanstreets said...

NYC is keeping a " good thought " for a friend of us all, the great Buddy Miller.............

Anonymous said...

I saw and loved the show (and felt quite guilty about being angry at Buddy's absence after I heard the reason why). Does anyone who was at the show know the very last song Shawn Colvin did? I think, for some reason, it wasn't one of hers, but can't remember enough (other than that it was a song about love) to provide any useful details.

Sal Nunziato said...

Hey Anon,

Also felt guilty after finding out what happened to Buddy. That's James Dolan fault. As a matter of fact, anything that pisses me off, even if it's unrelated to James Dolan, I blame James Dolan.

The song you're asking about is a Lefty Frizzell song, "That's The Way Love Goes."

illustrationISM said...

God Bless, heal and strengthen Buddy Miller -
Master guitarist, after his heart attack and surgery!

mark jaquette @
illustrationISM &