Tonight kicks off the 35th Annual Ann Arbor Folk Festival, and I am happy and excited to say that I’ll be attending tomorrow night’s sold out show featuring Emmylou Harris, Nanci Griffith, and Glen Campbell, along with Joe Henry, Sarah Jarosz, Caravan of Thieves and Seth Glier.
I don’t remember a time when I didn’t love music. As I’ve written before on this blog, I always had a tough time as a child deciding whether to spend my allowance on books or music. (I still have that dilemma!) Going to concerts to see the performers I love remains one of my favorite activities in the whole world, and that’s just what I get to do tomorrow night.
Back in the late 1960s, Glen Campbell’s records spun around my turntable all the time. I bought all of his singles: By the Time I Get to Phoenix, Wichita Lineman, Galveston, Gentle on My Mind. While I wasn’t as crazy about his later songs, I’ve always wanted to see him in concert. Since he is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s this will be his final tour , so getting to see him tomorrow night is a real thrill that will allow me to take his name off my list of performers I want to see in concert. Here’s Glen singing my favorite song of his, a heartbreaker about a soldier hoping he lives to see his girl and his hometown again.
Another name I’ll be able to take off the list of performers I want to see live is Nanci Griffith. She hasn’t been on my list as long as Glen Campbell, but she’s been on it since 1992, when I first discovered her through Emmylou Harris. Emmylou covered a song Nanci wrote, “It’s a Hard Live Wherever You Go,” and I loved that song so much I immediately went out and bought everything I could find by Nanci. She’s one of the best and most underrated songwriters around. She also puts on a good show, or at least she does on the two concert videos I’ve watched. Can’t wait to check her out in person! This is a clip from one of her early videos where she’s singing the song that first made me love her.
Emmylou Harris, the headliner tomorrow night, is one of my top 5* all-time performers. For over 35 years I’ve bought everything she’s released and never been disappointed. I’ve seen her in concert a few times over those 35 years, and I’m happy to add another show. She has an absolutely beautiful voice, tells funny yet poignant stories about the songs, and is also an songwriter. Here’s a clip of her performing one of my favorite songs that she also wrote.
I also like Joe Henry and Sarah Jarosz and am looking forward to hearing Caravan of Thieves and Seth Glier. Should be a great night of music!
Any concerts you’re excited about seeing? Who’s on your list of performers you really want to see live?
* My top 5, if you’re wondering is Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Emmylou Harris, The Clash, and a revolving door of The Beatles/The Rolling Stones/U2/Johnny Cash/The Who.