Saturday, October 2, 2010

Peter Ostroushko's Anniversary & CD Release Show

Playing the second of two sold-out shows at the Open Eye Figure Theatre, Peter Ostroushko began his concert Saturday with a limerick that Garrison Keillor had written for him 35 years ago. This was a hilarious and perfect opener for a night dedicated to his 35-year recording career. It was 35 years since he recorded on Dylan's Blood on the Tracks and 25 since he recorded his first solo album. Also celebrating the release of his new album When the Last Morning Glory Blooms, he played a lot of the new tunes.

First Set:
-"Tecumseh" (great fiddle tune he wrote in Ohio while on tour with A Prairie Home Companion-- old-timey opening)
-"Maycomb, AL" (in celebration of 50th anniversary since publication of To Kill a Mockingbird--written for a production done in Kansas City a couple years ago)
- a funny blues song written by Garrison Keillor (Nice jamming by band and Peter on the mando. My favorite line: "I ain't got no home, got no address/I never knew such happiness." He also had some funny banter afterwards about the blues in Minnesota. "The south has the Delta Blues, but we have the Headwater Blues.")
- Southern Baptist gospel song "Little Bessie" (full of death--Peter said afterwards: "Yeah those souther Baptists really no how to party. But then again I'm Ukrainian. I could be in an orgasmic frenzy right now, and you wouldn't be able to tell.")
- "B & B Waltz" (wriiten on the occasion of Red House Records founder Bob Feldman's wedding to Beth Friend)
- after a hilarious play by play of today's Twins game, he invited 15 year-old fiddler Sedra Bistodeau to play a tune he wrote for her called "Sedra's Waltz"
- fiddle tune featuring Sedra and Peter on mando
- Sedra played solo piece by Novacek

Second Set:
- "Down Where the River Bends" (written for the national park service)
- "The Nine Years Waltz" (he said he first heard this decades ago at the Whole Coffeehouse at the U of M and recorded it for the new album with Norman & Nancy Blake--one of my favorites on the CD)
- medley of "Muddy Creek" and some tune from Moldova
- "A & A Waltz" (also written for a wedding--that of Andra Suchy and Andrew Pierzina)
- fiddle tune featuring Sedra and band
- solo tune by Sedra

This was a great evening of music in a lovely little historic theater, built around 1902. Before Susan Haas and Michael Sommers took it over (and did such a fabulous job of refurbishing it), it was the home of Patrick's Cabaret, and rumor has it, the building was once a mortuary--one of the first African American mortuaries in Minneapolis. That probably explains why the room has such powerful mojo. A very cool space that is worth checking out.


Pete RIvard said...

Looks like Dan Chouinard on accordion. Who else made up Peter's band that evening?

Ellen Stanley said...

Forgot to post that! Peter's band did indeed include Dan Chouinard (piano, accordion) along with Dirk Freymouth (guitar, bouzouki) and Joel Sayles (upright bass).