October 19, 2005

Jimmie Dale Gilmore

Jimmie Dale Gilmore cautioned us that the late set of an evening can be “weird" last night at Joe’s Pub. He then, happily, went about proving himself prescient.

When the curtains parted for his "Come On Back” CD release party, he ascended to the stage looking spectral. Several years since I’d heard that inimitable voice directly, I felt strangely nervous. He approached the microphone delicately, breathing lyrics as if setting something carefully on a shelf.

So it began.

He launched into a CD sampler of his father’s favorite songs from the new release. Listening, I felt him sift for clues to any wisdom he’d been blind to in younger years, maybe still unsure it was ever there.

About the sweeping intensity of these times, he mused on maturity: “Is it weirder than it used to be or am I just getting more observant?”

Three generations of Gilmores are present on this tour: Jimmie, his son Colin (both opening the show and accompanying on guitar) and the guiding spirit of a deceased patriarch. What his dad “loved more than... anything” lives on, prompting Jimmie to observe that “songs last longer than we do.”

In a native trickster mood, Jimmie paraphrased a complex Bertrand Russell quote with - “There’s no way to prove the universe wasn’t created five minutes ago, complete with memories.”

Each song - interpreted by Gilmore’s placeless echo - floated amidst this wry calm.

I guess I can’t predict how long I’ll remember Tuesday’s concert, but I know I’ll never forget it.

Posted by mark at October 19, 2005 08:42 PM