Tony Dekker at the Driftwood Concert House, Kimberley , Sunday October 13, 2013, 8pm check the website Tony Decker of Great Lakes Swimmers
Darin contacted me by email on Wednesday setting up a concert for the following Sunday evening. My first thought was “good luck fella, it’s Thanks Giving”. As it turned out, even with such short notice, the concert was virtually sold out. Only a couple of last minute cancellations defeated the absolute maximum capacity of the room. While on vacation down south (Utah, I think) Darin and Jen had hooked up with Tony Dekker a couple of days earlier and managed to finangle a concert at the Driftwood that fitted with Tony’s tour of the West Kootenays. Tony Dekker was unknown to me and, once again, it was trust in Darin’s judgement that urged me to attend. Tony may have been unknown to me but obviously there appeared to a significant number of fans in the audience who were more than familiar with “his” band THE GREAT LAKE SWIMMERS. They have been around for about 10 years and are great favorites on CBC radio. The opening act was a little different. It is not every day we get to hear an Edison vintage cylinder phonograph playing, what I guessed to be, vintage Hawaiin music. What followed was a very laid back evening of acoustic music. Without the whine, and completely in tune, Tony’s voice had echoes and overtones of Neil Young. The emphasis was on smooth vocals and strong song writing with minimal finger picking guitar accompaniments. There was no flamboyant rock and roll stage craft to degrade the performance. With the exception of a Tom Waitt’s cover and Gordon Lightfoot’s Carefree Highway it was a night of original music. Some of the songs in the program included Somewhere Near Thunder Bay, I Saw You in the Wild, Moving Pictures – Silent Film, Where in the World are You Now, The Great Exhale, Talking in Your Sleep, Concrete Heart, On the Water, Rocky Spine, When the Sun Fell Down and the song Changing Colours. The last mention song scored a cover, complete with big orchestra and big production, by Josh Groban. That’s quite a scoop for GREAT LAKE SWIMMERS, a band that must be well under the pop music radar. Just think of those royalties – maybe there was enough to cover the expenses of a tour of the Kootenays.
Thanks Darin, Jen and Silas for more great music and thanks for letting me tamper with the lights.