Circle of the Song: A Fine Collaboration
Featuring Seth Walker, Ed Jurdi, Edward David Anderson.
Collaborations like The Circle of the Song, featuring Seth Walker, Edward Davis Anderson, and Ed Jurdi, are becoming increasingly common. And, judging by this show, that is a very good thing. Take several musicians who approach music from different places, put them and their acoustic instruments on a stage, and see what happens. It can be magic!
I was quite familiar with Walker before this show, having seen him deliver his brand of Texas blues guitar several times. Jurdi is with the Band of Heathens, a band I know slightly, but I did not know Edward Davis Anderson or his rock and roll band Backyard Tire Fire.
The Circle of the Song was performed in much the same manner as the other collaborations I have seen: each musician leads one of his or her songs with the others playing and singing backup, and sometimes taking lead instrumentals. Walker began the 100-minute set, followed by Anderson and then Jurdi.
Walker’s style is fairly traditional blues, but since his move to New Orleans from Austin three years ago, he has added some funk to his songs. His voice is well-suited to both styles — slightly gritty and full of passion.
Anderson is a one-man band, playing guitar, banjo, and percussion – and, oh yeah, the kazoo, which he holds with a modified harmonica holder. I cannot remember the last time I heard a kazoo at a show. The songs he led covered a variety of styles, from rock to folk, to perhaps alt-country.
Jurdi, meanwhile, started the set playing the keyboard, then switched to the guitar and back again, and added a harmonica several times during the set. His songs seemed to be mostly blues and country.
In addition to performing songs each wrote in the past, they played songs written while on the road during this brief tour. A number of the songs they performed, whether new or old, had a traveling theme. Being away from their families can be difficult, as described by some of the lyrics.
The music was marvelous. At times I found myself closing my eyes and letting it transport me to a farm in Indiana (Anderson talked about his feelings for the farms and farmers in his native state). I did not want the show to end.
Clearly, all of these players have a lot of respect for each other and for the music. Despite the small crowd (presumably due to the Academy Awards being broadcast at the same time), they delivered an energetic show to an enthusiastic audience.
They do not have an album of the three of them together – yet. I bought the recording of the show, which I presume they are doing at every show, and am enjoying reliving the evening. If they are appearing anywhere near you and you appreciate musicians’ musicians, you should go see them. Hopefully they will tour again soon.
For more photos from this marvelous show, see Suze Reviews the Blues.