Saw a great acoustic concert at Live at Ludlow Garage this past weekend. It featured Grant-Lee Phillips, whom I’ve long adored, and Steve Poltz, with whom I was only vaguely familiar (had heard his name, knew he co-wrote the song “You Were Meant For Me” that was a big hit for Jewel).

The venue was a nice room – it reminded me of McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Santa Monica, CA, which hosts great artists in a similar stripped-down setting.

Grant-Lee and Steve started out on stage together, doing “Gentle On My Mind,” then Steve left the stage and Grant-Lee played solo. He even went completely unplugged/un-amplified for a couple of songs. His set was a mix of new stuff and old favorites from his Grant Lee Buffalo days (“Honey Don’t Think” “Truly, Truly” “Mighty Joe Moon“) and his earlier solo albums (“Buried Treasure“). His voice is gorgeous – and I don’t often use that term for a male singer. The new stuff held up very well, “Cry Cry” was particularly moving, it’s a song about the Trail of Tears and the fact that Grant-Lee is part Native American made it especially poignant.


Another new one was “Smoke and Sparks”

“Loaded Gun” and “San Andreas Fault” were also great.


For those who only know GLP from his “town troubadour” character, you’ll be glad to know that he will also be back on the “Gilmore Girls” reunion shows.

Steve Poltz came back out after intermission and he and Grant-Lee did another Glen Campbell tune, “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” (really a Jimmy Webb tune made famous by Glen). Then Grant-Lee left and Steve did his set. Actually, “set” is the wrong word – to him a “setlist” is merely an abstract concept. He went from the ridiculously silly to the sublime in the course of a single hour and kept the audience smiling the entire time with his hilarious stories. Definitely a performer that I’d like to see again.


Grant-Lee came back on at the end of the evening and they wrapped up the show with an extended version of Dylan’s “Forever Young” with some funny, improvised verses.

I’m already jonesing for their next trip to town.