I am destined to see Robin and Linda Williams in strange environments. This time it was a concert in Basel in cavernous room in a converted factory. The PA system was not quite up to the task but Robin and Linda (and Their Fine Group) added everyone in the hall to their dedicated fan base. It was their first performance in Switzerland and in spite of the fact that many in the audience couldn’t quite grasp the nuances of the humor, they laughed in most of the right places (one listener said in German that “one simply knows that they are funny.” He was right).
The audience DID understand the music. How do R & L keep getting better? Jim Watson (bass, mandolin, vocals, and good vibes) and Jimmy Gadreau (mandolin and more good vibes) were, not surprisingly, superb. The lines at the CD table were long and lots of Swiss francs (still a pretty stable currency) changed hands.
Folk music generally travels well but it winds up in some odd neighborhoods. What are some of the stranger venues where you’ve seen/played concerts? I’d love to hear some stories of how music overcame circumstance (although the old comedic formula of tragedy + time = humor could also play a role here).