Sunday, June 14, 2009

Elvis Costello at Regency Park

Elvis Costello brought his ace Americana backup band to the Koka Booth Ampitheatre in Cary tonight to do songs from his latest recording "The Secret, Profane and Sugarcane."
This crack band included the Dobro Ace Jerry Douglas, fiddler deluxe Stuart Duncan and the ever-talented Jim Lauderdale on vocals and guitar. The mostly acoustic set included some unusual covers and some Costello standards along with songs from the new album.

Predominantly material from "Profane" and "King of America" along with plenty of songs from "My Aim is True" stuck in the set as well. The dapper and energetic Mr. Costello set up the songs from the new record with jaw-dropping stories about the not-quite-courtship of Hans Christian Anderson and the Barnum Singing Sensation Jenny Lind set in time around the 1850s. The songs from this song cycle are brutal in content. "Red Cotton" for instance about selling scraps of a red (metaphorically soaked with the blood of antebellum slaves) dress in souvenir lockets. The song "She Handed Me a Mirror" being about the time Hans Christian asked Jenny Lind why she could not return his love (and HCA being so unattractive) she handed him a mirror.
Leave it to Elvis to take songs intended for an opera about a Swedish singing star and convert them into an Americana influenced song cycle.

Set List:

Mystery Train
All Time Doll
Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down
Down Among the Wine and the Spirits
Blame It On Cain
Our Little Angel
Femme Fatale
I Felt the Chill Before the Winter Came
The Delivery Man
The Butcher's Boy
Indoor Fireworks
Hidden Shame
New Unpublished Song
Wicked Wine
Friend of the Devil
She Handed Me a Mirror
Everyday I write the Book
She Was No Good
Chocolate Town
Brilliant Mistake
Red Cotton
The Crooked Line
Red Shoes
Sulfur to Sugarcane
The Race is On
What's So Funny 'Bout Peace, Love and Understanding
Changing Partners
Five Small Words (thanks D. Menconi!)

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