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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Chris O'Brien and Ellis Paul for Mother's Day!

Chris O'Brien "Rosa"

Ellis Paul "Blacktop Train" video was removed by YouTube due to copyright restrictions. Sorry, it was pretty great! 6/28/2010

This is not strictly a photographic post, but is definitely a great memory. For Mother's Day this year our daughter Amy found out that one of Jan's favorite singers, Chris O'Brien, was going to play at University of Texas's Cactus Cafe on Mother's Day weekend. So she made sure that we would be available, and made the arrangements for us to attend the concert.

Cactus Cafe (reviews) is a very small intimate place located in one of the buildings at UT. I would say that if there were 100 people there, that would be an SRO performance. The fact that it was a non-smoking coffehouse-type bar made it a delight to be there.

It turned out that Chris was the lead-in act for another singer named Ellis Paul. We had not heard of Mr Paul, but we were sure that if his style was like Chris's, we'd enjoy his singing just as well. Turns out Chris only sang 6 songs, and Ellis played 2 full sets! We got to talk with Chris about 1/2 way through the evening, and he autographed a CD for Jan. He was very surprised that an "old codger" like me (not his words, but I could tell) knew about his music.

Ellis Paul was very unique. He played a lot of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger songs, and had an angry edge of protest in quite a few songs. But I will say, he could play and sing, and entertain an audience! Someone in the audience shouted a question, "Did you vote for Obama!" He smiled a quirky smile and said, "yeah,..twice" It was a great moment. BTW, the audience participation you hear in the video must be a regular thing with EP's concerts, because we participated on the Ooo-oo-oo-o-oo-oooh's too.

About 12:30am the night was getting on, so we left and headed home. I bought a live CD of Ellis Paul's (the cover of the CD is on his Home Page)and I enjoy it very much. The two videos are my favorites from the two performers' sets that night, but I like almost everything I heard, and highly recommend them both if you'd like to hear some new music. Ellis Paul will be back in Texas at the Kerrville Folk Festival on May 29th & 30th. Wish I could be there!

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you like the music. I do apologize for the bad video on the Ellis Paul song, but it was the closest I could find on YouTube to what we heard at the Cactus. Come back often, I will try to have more stuff up soon.

All the best,

Mike Z

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