Saturday, October 28, 2017

The Mavericks & Mike Plume Live in Edmonton Oct.19th 2017

Last Thursday my Sweetie Janis and I went to the Mavericks show at the Winspear Centre. Now I had no intention of going to this show, as I really know very little about The Mavericks, but then I heard one of my favorite Canadian artists Mike Plume would be opening the show. Now, I was interested, but wasn't willing to pay the hundred dollars for seats just to see the opener. As much as I like Mike Plume, that was out of my budget, especially with the amount of shows I have been to as of late. But then I got a message from Mike Plume letting me know that I was on the guest list, me plus one. Fuckin' eh, I was going, this totally made my day and was pumped about seeing Plume again, as it had been a while since I last saw him. Now I had to get to know The Mavericks a bit. I went out and bought their latest release "Brand New Day" that came out in March. I also streamed a greatest hits album of theirs. I was surprised at how many of the songs I recognized. I didn't think I knew any of their tunes, but I guess I did. There new album is alright, nothing special, and that's kind of how I felt about the rest of their music as well. Some of it was good, some not so much. From what I was listening to the lead singer of The Mavericks Raul Malo's voice reminded me a bit of Roy Orbison in some of the songs. That I liked and thought this might be a good show after all.

The show with started with Edmonton based singer songwriter and one of my favorite Canadian artists Mike Plume. It was a solo show by Mike and he did not disappoint. Mike opened the show with the song "Red And White Blues". Although it was a short set, I thought his selection of songs was superb. Other songs he played were "On Remembrance Day", "So Long Stompin' Tom", "More Than A Game". Then a song I wasn't expecting at all. Mike had only played maybe two notes when Janis looked at me and said Fiddler's Green, I wasn't so sure but then after a few more notes, hell ya it was, Mike was covering the Tragically Hip song "Fiddler's Green". What a beautiful rendition of the song he did too, amazing! With lead singer of The Hip Gord Downie having just passed away the day before this was a beautiful tribute to the man. There were a few tears rolling down people's cheeks during this one. Mike got a great round of applause after this song. The other two songs he did were "Coming Home Again (Hey Hey What D'Ya Say)" and closing out the set with "8:30 Newfoundland". A great show by Mike Plume. It was nice to see and hear Mike in a different setting other then a bar which is where I have almost always seen him play. He sounded great in the Winspear, crystal clear sound which made his voice sound better then ever. A fabulous opening set. It looked like the crowd really enjoyed his set as I saw quite a few people buying his CD's from the merch table.

Mike Plume at The Winspear.

Janis and I with Mike Plume.

Here is footage of Mike doing Fiddler's Green.

Now it was time for The Mavericks a band from Miami, Florida. The Mavericks play an eclectic combination of music mostly country mixed with Latin and rockabilly. I didn't realize the band has been around since 1989. They are on tour promoting their latest release an album called Brand New Day. An album which I had purchased prior to the show so that I knew what I would be hearing. I thought the album was ok, nothing special but was looking forward to seeing them.

When the band came out on stage I was surprised to see that they were an eight piece band. And a flashy looking band at that, which surprised me. Well I have to say, we didn't last very long. By the fourth song Janis and I were looking at each other, going hmmm I'm not really getting into this. We toughed it out for a few more songs before we made the decision to bail. We just couldn't get into them at all. The audience sure seemed to be enjoying themselves, but us, not so much. I wasn't getting that Roy Orbison feel from lead singer Raul Malo, something that made me like some of their songs. The guitar player for The Mavericks Eddie Perez was a very flashy player, he looked like he should be in a glam metal band, striking all the poses that glam players did in the day, whipping his hair around, jumping around and such, it just seemed really hokey, and the keyboard player Jerry Dale McFadden was also very flashy. He was dressed in a white suit and dancing around, clapping and getting the crowd into the show. To me I just found him kind of goofy. Lead singer Raul was alright, but not enough to keep me interested. It all came off like a big Las Vegas wedding band feel. Now I have no idea what a Las Vegas wedding band is, but if I had to picture one, this would have been it. So after about half a dozen songs, that was it, we were out of there.

Well, we couldn't have timed it any better. As we were leaving, we managed to catch Mike Plume and his brother just as they were packing up Mike's merchandise and getting ready to leave. So we were able to thank Mike for the tickets and have a nice talk with him. We must have chatted for about fifteen minutes or so, with Mike taking the time to have a picture taken with Janis and I. Mike told us some great road stories and about his upcoming album which he is amidst recording, an album he hopes to have out by April. Can't wait to hear the new material. We both mentioned to Mike how much we enjoyed his cover of The Hip song. Mike told us that he had just rehearsed the song the night before and wasn't even sure if he was going to play it or not. When he started the song, he still wasn't sure whether to play it or not, but then said fuck it "I'm going for it", well Mike you pulled it off beautifully, it was a great tribute to Gord Downie. Thank you Mike for being so accommodating and taking the time to talk with us, we both really enjoyed our chat. Thanks again Mike for the guest list spot, much appreciated! Good times!!!

The Mavericks at the Winspear.

In concert news...Mike Plume will be hitting the road in mid November touring with another great Alberta artist Corb Lund. Mike Plume will be opening for Corb on a western Canadian tour hitting smaller towns between Langley, B.C. to Winnipeg, Manitoba. A great double bill of two amazing singer songwriters. Check out Mike's website by clicking here for all the dates. I really wish this tour was hitting Edmonton. But Mike will be playing a hometown show in Edmonton on Sunday December 10th at The Almanac on Whyte Avenue.

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