Tour diary: Rubber Souldiers 1/4/09

Rubber Souldiers 1/4/09

Rubber Souldiers at the Station House Cafe in Point Reyes Station Sunday, January 4, 2009 (left to right: Chris Rowan, David Gans, Lorin Rowan, CC Dawson, Paul Knight) after our show at the Station House Cafe in Point Reyes Station CA. Photo by Rita Hurault.

We played 5-6:30, took a dinner break, and played til 8:30. This is Paul Knight’s regular “PK & Friends” gig, which is very explicitly a casual, unpolished affair. Also unplugged, albeit amplified w/ Paul’s PA system. Our drummer was there with a tiny kit. Chris, Lorin, and I played and sang into microphones.

We have a few pretty well worked-out sequences for our “Beatle jam band,” but we took advantage of this warm and intimate atmosphere to go way out there and try lots of new stuff – all of which, despite the occasional derailment, was great fun for us and very well-received by the audience.

I had my hand-held recorder with me but no cable to connect it to the PA, so I just put it in a spot where I might get some sense of what was played. The recording is clear enough for us to benefit from what we’ll learn from hearing it back, but not suitable for civilian ears.

I have the coolest role in this band in a way: the Rowan Brothers have been singing together for 50 years, and they have lots of Beatle songs in their blood and bones; I have the freedom to create a third part where there wasn’t one before. I sing less lead in this band, but that doesn’t bother me a bit!

Part of our pitch is that we stretch these songs out, blend them together, and loosen them up – without sacrificing the genius of the originals. One of the absolutely uncharted adventures from the first set for example, was Baby’s in Black-> Back in the USSR-> Get Back-> Baby’s in Black.

When we did “Here Comes the Sun,” I had been hoping for an extended instrumental in the middle. When we got to the end without having done that, I said something to Lorin and he immediately launched into a wonderful refrain that we teased out into an extended ride, loosely based on “Here Comes the Sun.” I thought it might have been something Lorin had done before, but he said after the show that it wasn’t. We invented a ton of new territory our the band to explore.

The restaurant was packed for the whole show, and the audience was singing along most of the time. And at the end of the second set, they were going nuts and demanding more. What a thrill!

There were moments when Lorin and I were exchanging information on vocal notes and phrasing via eye contact, and we have developed a very fluid way of passing instrumental leads back and forth. I tend to defer to Lorin as the “lead” instrument – guitar or mandolin – but whenever I get the fever and
start playing, there’s plenty of room for me and the handoffs tend to be pretty smooth.

We’re all seasoned players and singers and performers coming together over music that made us who we are; this is an almost ridiculously easy band to be in.

You’re Gonna Lose That Girl
All My Lovin’->
Within You Without You->
Rain
If I Fell->
Across the Universe
No Reply
This Boy
Doctor Robert->
Come Together->
Doctor Robert
I Should Have Known Better
Help!
When I Get Home
Wait
Baby’s in Black->
Back in the USSR->
Get Back->
Baby’s in Black
Hold Me Tight
She Loves You
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
Girl->
Things We Said Today
I’ve Just Seen a Face
Yellow Submarine

A Hard Day’s Night
Glass Onion
It Won’t Be Long
Blackbird
Norwegian Wood
Here Comes the Sun
I Saw Her Standing There
Day Tripper
You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away
Here, There, and Everywhere
If I Needed Someone->
Paperback Writer->
With a Little Help from My Friends (reprise)->
Paperback Writer
The Word

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