Had a really nice evening this past Thursday hanging out with the one and only, Mike Tamburo. He's an interesting guy (and YES, HE DOES EXIST!) with a lot of heart and soul, me thinks. He knows how to tell a good yarn, too. I had nothing to do with bringing him to the area, because last time I got even remotely involved in setting up a show, disaster's-ville: population me. His show was in Denton at a little coffee house called Art Six with an outside deck area. There were four of us that watched him play (with the occasional smoker dropping by for an abbreviated listen). He'd occasionally build up loops via acoustic guitar and dulcimer and played a selection that spanned his fingerpicking career and drew largely from the excellent solo debut, "Beating the Rewound Son" (Music Fellowship). He also played a solo rendition of a piece from his new duo, The Amazing Trapeze. I was struck by his control of dynamics, on top of his dexterous fretwork, and his ability to keep each piece flowing, even as he shuffled through his bag looking for something else to throw on top. I was especially impressed when he started playing dulcimer with mallets and created a beautiful shimmer of tones that actually resembled a gamelan orchestra. No shit!
Here's a pic of Mr. Tamburo doin' his thing on the leafy deck...
We hung out a while and talked about all sorts of things, including fingerpickers, the greatness of Jack Rose, spirit and humility. He gave me a fat stack of releases on his own New American Folk Hero CD-R label (including his last copy of the Kennan Lawler 3"--thank you, Mike!) as gifts, a couple Meisha albums, and the latest (and possibly greatest) Arco Flute Foundation Live CD on Music Fellowship. I gave him a CD by The Lost Domain in an effort to repay the love, but more than anything what Mike gave me was a warm night of kinship. I feel lucky to call him a friend.
He's going to be on the road for about another month. See here for remaining dates, mainly East Coast. I recorded 80 mins of the 90 min gig. I told Mike it was his storyteller set, because each song came with exposition. All in all, a good night.