Holcombe Waller @ Cafe du Nord

Last night I went to see Holcombe Waller at Cafe du Nord. He was very good; I like his sound much much better than before on “Advertising Space.” I guess that was 10 years ago…

He was mostly solo; he was sitting on a chair alone on stage with his guitar, dressed in flannel with black-framed glasses and a beard, so it was kind of like the Eric Clapton MTV Unplugged.

Waller used his voice as a percussion instrument in this performance. His first song was this thing that I STILL can’t find on the damn albums; the only way I can think to describe it is as sort of a “Walking Song” by Meredith Monk which then transitions into a song that is like a more plaintive “Country Roads” by John Denver. Hopefully I can figure out what song that was, it had the word “Saskatchewan” in it.

UPDATE: it was a Buffy Saint-Marie cover called “Qu’appelle Valley, Saskatchewan.” Remember Buffy? From Sesame Street? Well I do. Anyway, Holcombe Waller’s version is on YouTube, I embedded it below. The version he performed was ever so slightly more mellow than this one.

One of the songs he did that was also really awesome was “Literally the End of the World.” That one is his.

His guitar work was very intricate. I actually bought everything he had there so now I have the complete Holcombe Waller collection. He needs to make more stuff to buy…

Opening for him were two groups also from Portland, OR, including Loch Lomond, who were quite good. Their instrument selection was pretty zany; at one point they used those corrugated tubes you swing over your head. I bought their albums too.

Holcombe Waller performing “Qu’appelle Valley, Saskatchewan”: