It’s not so much that I only go to see really great songwriters where hardly no one is in the audience, it’s more that I only write Rock Reports about such evenings.
Last night I ventured down to Surfside 7 because John Moreland was coming through town. I am a recent convert but I’m already fully committed. Baptized and everything. Holy Ghost fire and whatnot. It was a Wednesday night and I don’t know if John Moreland has been to Ft. Collins before, so I wasn’t expecting much of a crowd and I was right.
Surfside 7 is the kind of bar people wander into but not many seemed to wander in by accident, but that mattered not because when it was Moreland’s turn to play he sat on a barstool, strapped on a guitar and sang the truth. Oh good lord, it was amazing. On several song John plays the guitar with his thumb and pointer finger, it’s a casually mesmerizing style that must take a lot of practice and touch. It’s something to see, is the point I’m trying to make. And because there were only a dozen folks in the bar I could see it just fine.
As well as Moreland plays and as well as he sings the beauty of his art is the songs he creates. I believe the third song he played he introduced as being written last week. Who knows if that means it’s been cooking in the oven for several months and was just finished last week or if it had all come together so recently, but the song was amazing. Every song he played in the roughly 50 minute set was amazing. Well worth the $3 cover charge.
I’ve been fortunate to hear Moreland’s upcoming album and it is a really barn burner (due out in June) and most of the songs on the album were played last night. For me the highlight of the set came early when he played “Nobody Gives A Damn About Songs Anymore.” It is a beautiful song about the art of songwriting and the devaluing it’s always facing. But as the statement sounds negative, I believe it has the opposite affect on us (readers of 9B and lovers of quality music). We must, no matter our numbers, support and love the art that moves us. Songs Matter is a phrase that’s been on my mind a lot the last month and it holds true for all of Moreland catalog.
After the set I only geeked out a little. For High Life bottles isn’t that much, but I did shake John’s hand three times while buying a record.
Two somewhat related points:
1. Cory and Kyle from Arliss Nancy both played really great, brief acoustic sets to open the night. AN has really grown on me in the last year or so.
2. While I was seeing John Moreland in Colorado, AutopsyIV was seeing Joe Pug in Florida and my friends in Mississippi were catching American Aquarium. Not a bad Wednesday night. We may not be large numbers but we are everywhere.