All in all, I must say that I had a great Father’s Day this year watching some super-fine musical performances with the three wonderful women who made me a father — my wife and our two beautiful daughters.
We made the trek over the hills for the last day of the Live Oak Music Festival, which was celebrating its 24th year with a stellar lineup.
Knowing that our daughters wouldn’t have the stamina for the whole day, we showed up a bit late, but we did make it in time to catch the fabulous Chimurenga music of “Lion of Zimbabwe” Thomas Mapfumo. His music was almost as hot as the blazing sun, and got a fair number of people up and dancing.
After we cooled off with some shaved ice and sprayed mist, the trees finally provided some shade in the audience area of the Main Stage, and we were treated to the stringed instrument mastery of David Lindley, who was decked out in his trademark polyester outrageousness and ably accompanied by multi-instrumentalist Joe Craven.
Lindley’s set was fittingly relaxed, with long instrumental intros that recalled his 1960s psychedelic band Kaleidoscope. I counted only seven songs, but it was stretched out to a total of an hour and 20minutes! His set included the amusing “Little Green Bottle,” “Well Well Well,” which was co-written by Danny O’Keefe and Bob Dylan and was introduced by a funny story about Lindley’s struggles with his water company, and a few songs from his 1980s project El Rayo-X. A special treat was an incredible rendition of “Little Sadie,” which made me think of Doc Watson, who died a few weeks ago.
My 10-year-old daughter decided to stick around for the Indigo Girls, and her reaction helped restore some hope for our musical future. She loved it! I have to contrast this with what she said about Nicki Minaj’s recent single, “Starships” — that the singing is awful, the lyrics are silly and there’s really no reason to listen to it unless you’re dancing. I’m a proud father.
With the backing of young Atlanta-based band The Shadowboxers, the Indigo Girls kicked off with one of their better-known songs, “Least Complicated,” and they proceeded to play tracks spanning the Girls’ nearly three-decade career. This included some old classics that like “Least Complicated” were on the playlist of my 20s (“Power of Two,” “Closer To Fine” with The Shadowboxers singing the last verse, and “Galileo”), plus newer (and often more electric) songs, including four from their 2011 album Beauty Queen Sister.
Amy Ray and Emily Saliers continue to have some of the most amazing harmonies in the business, and their joy of making their first visit to the festival was infectious. I do find it strange to see them playing electric guitars, but it does work, and it works well.
The last song was a wonderful cover of Dylan’s “Tangled Up In Blue,” including a bluesy verse at the end belted out by Saliers. This one really resonated with the audience, providing a memorable close to the festival.
Well, actually there was one more performance. Those who didn’t rush out after the Indigo Girls were treated to two bagpipers who played “Amazing Grace” and “Auld Lang Syne.”
It was indeed a great Father’s Day with the girls, both those from my family and those of the Indigo sort.
David Lindley Setlist
Old Coot from Tennessee
Ain’t No Way
Little Green Bottle
Pretty Girls Rule the World
Well Well Well
Indigo Girls Setlist
Heartache for Everyone
Get Out the Map
Beauty Queen Sister
Power of Two
Digging For Your Dream
Shed Your Skin
Fill It Up Again
Shame On You
We Get to Feel It All
Love of Our Lives
Moment of Forgiveness
Closer to Fine
Share the Moon
Fixer (song by The Shadowboxers)
Tangled Up In Blue (Bob Dylan cover)
— Noozhawk contributing writer Jeff Moehlis is a professor of mechanical engineering at UCSB. Upcoming show recommendations, advice from musicians, interviews and more are available on his Web site, music-illuminati.com.