Guest Concert Review by Llyn De Danaan.
On the icy evening of January 11 (the temperatures locally hit 20 degrees Fahrenheit and black ice slicked up the roads throughout town), Dave Greely and Joel Savoy made a stop on their way from Portland to Seattle to entertain a grateful sell-out crowd and inaugurate Olympia, Washington’s newest music venue, the back room of André Le Rest’s iconic Bread Peddler café. Dave Greely, for those who don’t know, is the founding fiddler of the Mamou Playboys [Steve Riley's band] and an earnest student of Cajun roots music as well as a composer and storyteller. He was born in Baton Rouge and raised in Livingston Parish. Savoy is from Eunice, Louisiana and in addition to his fiddling, entertained us with stories of the rural Mardi Gras traditions in Cajun country.
The back room was a perfect place to hear the duo perform and to enjoy a sampling of wine, beer, cheese and breads, and pastries. Among regular roots music devotees present were people who frequent local Quebecois and other jams. The front row was claimed by excited children, students of fiddle and dance, who watched and listened with great concentration. I last spotted this handsome group in the front row of Washington Center for Performance Arts’ recent Natalie MacMaster concert.
This kickoff of the Bread Peddler’s new musical life couldn’t have been more lively and apt. Greely and Savoy played a mixture of old tunes (many drawn from Denis McGee’s repertoire such as McGee’s A Minor Waltz) and newer compositions. Greely introduced the uninitiated to McGee’s work, as well as to the work of Varise Conner, and to the history of “une ronde des danses” which included polkas as well as waltzes and one and two steps. For those who didn’t know the history of the Cajuns/Acadians, there was a brief but informative lesson.
This event was produced by Raincrow Productions. Attendees used the Greely/Savoy evening as opportunity to promote the 5th Annual Olympia Old Time Music Festival to be held at the Urban Onion in downtown Olympia on February 14-17, 2013. The festival will include workshops, dances, and performances. (see http://www.olyoldtime.org/)
David Greely w/Joel Savoy : Cotillion/Chataigner
Lynn De Danaan is a Northwest writer and anthropologist based out of Olympia, WA. Her books include Koans for the Inner Dog: A Guide to Canine Enlightenment, collections of poems, and her latest work, Big Adventure in Moa Nui: The Very Mysterious Events on a South Pacific Island and Their Resolution, a work of fiction based on her travels in Tahiti. Her nonfiction book, Katie Gale’s Tombstone: Landscape, Power, and Justice on 19th Century Oyster Bay will be published by University of Nebraska Press.