Following the Watkins Family Hour show at Largo at the Coronet on December 22, 2015 (see my post “We’ll Steal Your Heart Away“), there was a show in The Little Room led by musician David Garza. Various combinations of the Watkins Family Hour band came on stage to play on a total of fifteen diverse songs. Here’s a rundown of what happened.
David started off the night with, as he said, “something from the ’80s,” as he began to play the chords to “Roxanne” on guitar. Someone in the audience shouted out that it was 1977 (the song was actually released in 1978). But really David was playing the “Roxanne/Rudolph” mashup. Not sure what year you want to attribute that one to as “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was published in 1939 as a story, the song was first a hit in 1949, and the earliest online evidence of the mashup version I can find is from 2010. Anyway, he got the audience singing along and it was good fun.
Then David began to play a jazzy style version of “Winter Wonderland” and Sebastian Steinberg joined in on his bass from the bar area on the opposite end of the room. That was pretty fantastic. Then Sebastian joined David on stage as David played “Texas is My Hometown,” starting on piano and finishing the song on guitar (opposite of what he does in the linked video).
There was some vamping as David had asked Sara to join him on stage and she had to leave the room to grab her fiddle. Then he played and sang the Wanda Jackson song “Funnel of Love” with Sara Watkins joining in and singing a verse. Next David played one of his own songs, “Rude Eyeshadow” which is from his Human Tattoo EP.
Benmont Tench then sat down at the piano, David played guitar, with Sebastian still on bass for a rock and roll classic, “Roll Over Beethoven.” Benmont introduced it by noting the song mentions “the guy (Tchaikovsky) who wrote this” as he played a little bit of “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” on piano. Great to see Benmont having a blast playing and singing that number.
Then Benmont took David’s guitar (wait a minute, I didn’t know Benmont played guitar) and David switched to piano. He said that it treated a certain city as a stand in “for whatever you can no longer tolerate.” I believe this may be one of Benmont’s original songs, not sure of the title, but the main line he referenced is, “Dallas, you’re a damn good town to leave.”
Next, David covered the Rolling Stones song, “Waiting on a Friend” complete with his Mick Jagger impression, while he waited for Sean Watkins to come to the stage. Once there, the Watkinses, David, and Sebastian performed a recent favorite jam song, “Keep It Clean.”
Jackson Browne joined the group already on stage and they performed a cover of the Leonard Cohen song, “A Thousand Kisses Deep.” This was incredible! I was just a few feet from the performers and this was one of those goosebump-inducing performances. What a great song that Cohen wrote; “And then you slip into the masterpiece.” Yes. I’ve borrowed this line for the blog post title. Followed by another amazing cover, this time Warren Zevon’s “Life’ll Kill Ya.” That was a pretty stirring rendition. With a chorus of:
Life’ll kill ya, that’s what I said
Life’ll kill ya, then you’ll be dead
Life’ll find ya, wherever you go
Requiescat in pace, that’s all she wrote
I felt like we all needed to shout “Amen” after that one and I am not even a particularly religious person! That was it from Jackson Browne. Wished he would have played at least one of his own songs in The Little Room because I was really connecting with his song choices that night.
A generous fan was keeping the band full of pints of Guinness and he had requested David play “Stardust.” So David played and sang part of the song and did a lyrical ad lib in honor of the evening.
Sara Watkins then took over the singing duties, performing a cover of John Prine’s song, “Christmas in Prison.” I’d like to see the Watkins Family Hour record a version of that song as Sara sounds so great singing it.
There was then an audience singalong of “White Christmas.” This was followed by a faux New Year’s Eve countdown (the third or fourth of the night!), but this time it concluded with the whole audience singing “Auld Lang Syne.”
For an encore, David performed a request, his humorous, original song, “Nashville Co-Write.” Is there a recording of this anywhere?
Another magical evening spent in The Little Room at Largo. What a great way to send off 2015.